The Buddhist Patriarch, Nun Nget, Chief Monk of the Kingdom of Cambodia,
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, I have a great honor and pleasure to join you all, the Buddhist Patriarch, Venerable Buddhist Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, beloved citizens in the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new bridge adjoining to Preah Monivong Bridge.
On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and my own behalf, I would like to highly appreciate and value Your Excellency Governor and Deputy Governors, all civil servants working in the Phnom Penh Municipality for your tremendous and tireless efforts in promoting development and improving the city, constructing and rehabilitating various infrastructures, including sewage and draining systems, bridges and roads in order to east traffics and to enhance living standards of Phnom Penh inhabitants as well as all our population across Cambodia.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to say that I am really proud with all levels of the Phnom Penh Municipality management, for their effective and proper management, which is consistent with the government policy to positively transform our Capital and we have gradually attained security, public order, safety, beautiful decoration and progress. All these factors have transformed Phnom Penh to a new image, a center of culture, politics, commerce, knowledge and education as well as an attractive tourist destination for national and international travelers.
In the last decades, Cambodia has overcome many difficulties and challenges. We passed through to this stage because of our dedication and strong determination in making Cambodia a country of full peace, better social order, cooperation and development. At the same time, the economic growth has benefited from reforms under the framework of “Rectangular Strategy” for growth, employment, equity and efficiency, such as Public Financial Management Reform, Financial Sector Development, Private Sector Development and Governance Reforms including Land Management Reform, Public Administration Reform and Legal and Judicial Reform in order to improve business and investment climate via trade facilitation and promotion of the private sector participation in physical infrastructure and small and medium enterprises development, etc. The Royal Government has exerted utmost efforts to attain these achievements under the political stability and security all over the country which is the precondition for moving Cambodia forward in its efforts to reduce poverty, to respect human rights and dignities, to strengthen democracy and sustainable development.
Indeed, by focusing on enhancing efficiency in restoration and development of physical infrastructure, which is the potential mean, the government considers the restoration and development of transportation infrastructure, roads, water ways and railroads as priority, which must be taken care and actively promoted further. The Royal Government maintains its wills to exert further efforts to successfully achieve economic growth and social development aiming at quickly reducing the poverty of Cambodian people. In this spirit, roads and bridges are hope and the most important mean to promote economic growthand to contribute to socio-development through elevating living standards, welfare and intelligence of our people.
The today gathering is just for the ground breaking ceremony of the new bridge adjoining Preah Monivong bridge, but 18 months later we will present here again in front of a newly built bridge that is 10 meters southward of Preah Monivong with similar design. On that day, we will witness the twin bridges, never existed before, laying across Bassac River.
Certainly, in the short future, the new bridge will ease traffic flow in Phnom Penh and its surroundings as well as people all over the country. This is a timely and appropriate response to social need, especially in the current situation of population and economic growth and all kinds of vehicles. This bridge will contribute to ease the traffic congestion and accidents that have frequently happened at both ends of Preah Monivong Bridge, on the Preah Monivong road and Chbar Ampouv Road. The bridge will facilitate our people’s traveling by reducing cost and time because during congestions, the automobile machines are still running without moving forward. Moreover, the congestion makes it difficult for emergency efforts, for instance, baby-delivery and serious illness or injury.
Therefore, the Twin Bridges will play an important role in traffics, daily lives, emergency and business dealings of Phnom Penh dwellers as well as people all over the country and it is a part to promote the beauty of our Capital city. This bridge will become the strategic road network and a vessel of our economy to facilitate people living in Phnom Penh and surrounding provinces as well as the people living along National Road No.1 to travel back and forth to provincial towns and tourist sites, to do businesses and other activities with less time to spend on traffic jams and cost of transportation.
For the future, this bridge will connect with the National Road No. 1, which is being reconstructed and expanded, and the 2ndbridge crossing the Mekong River at Neak Leung where the Government of Japan is considering to provide additional grant support to further develop the National Road No. 1 in order to turn it into highway of the Great Mekong Sub-region andASEAN Highway – AH 1.
Thus, the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of this bridge will play an important role to contribute to easing the an increasing traffic congestions from Phnom Penh to the Cambodia-Vietnam border at Bavet and Prey Veng due to the huge increase in all kinds of vehicles, cross border trading and numbers of big factories. Moreover, connecting this bridge to the National Road No. 1 from Phnom Penh to Neak Leung is a timely response to the implementation of the Bilateral Cross Border Transport Agreement between Vietnam and Cambodia because after the completion the portion of the National Road No. 1 from Phnom Penh to Neak Leung will transform into potential transportation means to fulfill necessary requirements contributing to promote economic growth for the whole country development. Undoubtedly, the regional and global integration aims at capturing opportunities in collecting revenues from competition, exchanges of trades, tourism, industry, agriculture; facilitating the improvement of other important sectors such as education, health and security; and developing the Cambodia-Vietnam border to be a region with progresses in all sectors and strong international cooperation, successfully averting from border conflict and fully everlasting peace.
Once again, I would like to express my profound gratitude to all Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, government leaders, local authorities, civil servants and all citizens who have closely cooperated with each other in this construction initiative to speed up the construction and to solve problem together based on common and national interest. I would like to appeal to all levels of authorities and citizens continue to cooperate and support to the reconstruction and development of physical infrastructure and especially to partake in maintaining those infrastructures for long term benefits.
At the same time, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to take this opportunity to thank people and governments of friendly countries and donor agencies as well as all development partners that have always provided all kinds of supports for the causes of rehabilitation and development of Cambodia’s economy and society in all fields through the improvement and development of transportation infrastructure that is the key to promote economic growth and poverty reduction of Cambodian people.
Also, I would like to take this opportunity to urge the Oversea Cambodia Investment Company to be more responsible and I hope that the Oversea Cambodia Investment Company and Sino-Pacific Corporation that is the sub-contractor will exert its utmost efforts to complete the construction of this bridge on time or even before deadline with high quality in accordance with the plan.
Finally, I would like to wish all of you five gems of Buddhist Blessings. I now declare the groundbreaking ceremony of the new bridge adjoining Preah Monivong bridge!