China Premier Li Keqiang says 2017 GDP growth expected around 6.9 percent

Cambodian women cutting the heads of fish as a fisherman pulls his net in the Mekong River in Kanal province January 5

Cambodian women cutting the heads of fish as a fisherman pulls his net in the Mekong River in Kanal province January 5

Analysts expect the world's second-biggest economy to have grown around 6.8 percent previous year, beating the government's target of about 6.5 percent, thanks to a construction boom and robust global demand for Chinese exports.

Total debt in the second quarter of past year amounted to 255.9 percent of GDP, according to Bank for International Settlements estimates.

According to analysts, the aggressive campaign might have stalled growth in the fourth quarter, due to the slowdown in industrial production. Gross domestic product expanded 6.7 percent in 2016.

China Premier Li Keqiang says 2017 GDP growth expected around 6.9 percent

His figure is slightly better than the 6.8 percent forecast by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a top state think tank.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang were at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on Thursday holding two separate meetings after a busy morning for the Chinese premier.

"The crux of why the Chinese economy was able to perform so well is that we insisted on not implementing a flood of stimuli" and instead sought to foster "new sources of growth", he said.

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China will continue to build and operate the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) and actively participate in the construction of a high-speed way linking the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville port and a new airport in Siem Reap, a popular resort town in northwestern Cambodia.

The visit of the Chinese premier will further enhance China-Cambodia ties and coincides with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Cambodia, officials said.

Cambodian Public Work and Transport Minister Sun Chanthol told The Associated Press after the signing that China will invest some $2 billion for the highway.

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The world's 12th-longest river, the Mekong runs almost 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) from the Tibetan Plateau down into mainland Southeast Asia before emptying into the South China Sea in Vietnam. He said the project is set to start this year and will take at least 44 months to complete.

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