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Chinese Firms Agree $11 Billion Deal In Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) â¿¿ Two Chinese companies have signed an $11.2 billion deal to build a new railway, a port and a steel factory in Cambodia.

San Sok Lika, a Cambodian official working with Chinese-owned Cambodia Iron and Steel Mining Industry, said Friday that construction on the projects should begin by July.

The projects include a 400-kilometer (249-mile) rail line which will run from a steel plant in northern Preah Vihear province to a port in Koh Kong in Cambodia's southwest.

A statement issued by the two companies said the deal was signed Dec. 31.

Steel Mining Industry is based in Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh. The other company involved in the project, China Railway Group, is based in China.

Chinese companies have invested heavily in impoverished Cambodia over the last decade in projects ranging from hydroelectric dams to agriculture.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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