– Your Venerable Buddhist Monks,
– Your Excellency Takahashi Fumiaki, Japanese Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia;
– Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;
– Our Compatriots!
Today, I have a great honor and pleasure to join you all in the inauguration ceremony of two bridges and the groundbreaking ceremony to reconstruct the portion of National Road No. 1 from Kean Svay to Nak Leung with 42.88 Km in length under the grant assistant from the Government of Japan.
Taking this auspicious opportunity, I would like to ask H.E. Mr. Takahashi Fumiaki to convey my profound gratitude on behalf of the People and Royal Government of Cambodia to the Japanese Government and its People who is the largest donor and an important development partner that has always provided technical support and fund in terms of grants and many loans provided in every circumstances to maintain peace, national unity, rehabilitation and development of physical infrastructure in Cambodia and in particular for rehabilitation and development of ports, roads and bridges all over the country in order to contribute along with the Cambodian Government to promote economic growth and socio-economic development aiming at rapid poverty reduction of our people.
Today, we have attained a new achievement through the grant support from the Japanese government amounted to 7,402 millions Yen which is equal to 64,365,217.38 US Dollars to rehabilitate the portion of National Road No. 1, which includes building two bridges that we are now inaugurating and groundbreaking ceremony to rehabilitate the portion of National Road No. 1 with length of 42.88 Km that is the second phase among the three phases to develop the segment of the National Road No. 1 project from Phnom Penh to Neak Leung. At the same time, the Japanese Government is conducting a feasible study on granting a second bridge crossing Mekong River at Neak Leung in addition to the development of National Road No.1 to be a Highway of the Mekong Sub-region and Asia’s highway AH1.
On behalf of the people and government of Cambodia, I would like to express my deeply gratitude again and to record in history of Cambodia on the kindness and noble gesture of the people and government of Japan who have significantly contributed to the development of the Cambodia.
As aforesaid by the Minister of Public Works and Transportations in the report on the benefits of having bridges and National Road No. 1 from Phnom Penh to Neak Leung, that will largely contribute to the socio-economic development in Cambodia since this area, which the road cuts across, is the low laying area along the Mekong river with regular flooding and close to Phnom Penh city, which has a lot of people, big enterprises, factories and many other crops.
I highly appreciate the bridge and National Road No. 1 construction project, which does not only provide benefits in term of transportation and irrigation, but also contribute to the reduction of traffic congestions, thus reducing traffic related accidents. Indeed, two bridges that we are about to inaugurate today play an important role in the socio-economy and are the strategic bridges to provide three benefits: (i) facilitating services, traffic, transportations at regional standard; (ii) functioning as the irrigation bridge, which can be used to regulate water for the crop plantation along the road and to serve as the water gate during rainy season, which can affect crops on the south of road; and (iii) protecting National Road No. 1 against water pressure that would destroy the road and cut the traffic along this national and international road type.
Moreover, allowing the water to flow across this irrigation bridge may bring fertile land and increase fishery resources to serve the domestic demand and exportation in the future. In addition, the improvement of road from Phnom Penh to Neak Leung is to enhance the efficiency of transportation, which leads the Cambodian economy and society to a higher level, to meet high and heavy frequent demands of regional transportation, which contributes to the increase in government revenue and creates more jobs and opportunities for Cambodian people as well as improving education and health.
The special characteristic of this segment of the road plays an important role to release traffic congestion that has become a big issue from Phnom Penh to Cambodia-Vietnam border in Bavet and Prey Veng because of the increasing of all kinds of cars and busy cross border trading as well as mushrooming of big enterprises. In addition, the project to reconstruct segment of National Road No.1 from Phnom Penh to Neak Leung including to the construction of two big bridges and the quality improvement and enlargement of the National Road No. 1 from Phnom Penh to Neak Leung timely responses to the implementation of the bilateral agreement on transportation between Vietnam and Cambodia. After completing the construction, this segment of road would become a potential road to meet all necessary requirements in contributing to economic growth and national development as the whole. 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.
To encourage and promote the rehabilitation and development of the infrastructure which is the potential mean, the Royal Government considers rehabilitation and development of the transportation infrastructure such as roads, waterway and railways as the top priority to be concentrated and actively promoted. The government remains strongly committed for the success of the Rectangular Strategy in order to promote economic growth, social development and rapid poverty reduction all over the country because roads and bridges are hopes and necessary means to promote economic growth and to contribute to social development through the enhancement of people’s living standard, welfare and better knowledge. Obviously, good roads and bridges will facilitate the transportation of goods and products to be faster with larger amount, good quality and low cost. Good roads and bridges are the best means to attract investors to make the investment in every sector including industry, agriculture and tourism, which contribute to the creation of jobs for our people to earn the income for their livings and poverty reduction.
Meanwhile, to maintain these achievements I would like to appeal to all levels of local authorities and the officials of Ministry of Public Works and Transportations and other related ministries/institutions to continue cooperation with each other and put more efforts to fulfill their assignment. In this connection, may I appeal our compatriots for their contribution in maintaining all achievements to be sustainable especially the road and bridges that are inaugurated today and other road networks connecting to everywhere in the country as well as with neighboring countries. In addition, the people’s contribution is the required factor to accelerate the process of road and bridge constructions and maintenance and uphold the quality and safety in transportation in order to promote the national economic growth as well as to protect our nation’s achievement, especially the people’s lives.
The only thing that I want you to pay back is the caution in driving, which requires mutual understanding in order to avoid traffic accident leading to the tragedy and social consequences due to the loss of lives, injury and disability of family provider and their love one. At the same time, the overloaded vehicle causing the damages to road and bridge as well as national budget must be totally prohibited. In reality we have the scale, tools and equipment to prevent the overloaded vehicles, but if the commission to check overloaded vehicles does not execute and take firm measures to prevent, we are still not able to deal with the overloaded vehicles. In this spirit, I would request all commissions to check overloaded vehicles to cooperate with each other and take concrete measures to effectively prevent the overloaded vehicles.
At the same time, on behalf of the government and Cambodian people, may I take this opportunity to express my profound thanks to the people and governments of our friendly countries, all donor agencies and other development partners, in particular Japan who has always supported us in both spirits and budget for reconciliation, rehabilitation and socio-economic development in all sectors in Cambodia through improving and building transportation networks which are keys to accelerate economic growth and alleviate poverty in Cambodia.
I would like to appreciate all the efforts of KATAHIRA Company for serving as the technical monitor and OBAYASHI Company, the project implementer, to build two bridges at the 42nd and 47th Kilometer and finished 5 months earlier than plan while maintaining high quality, which is suitable for facilitating the transportation in accordance with the international standard and functioning as the irrigation bridge.
Finally, I would like to wish Your Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen, and our compatriots with the Five Gems of Buddhist Blessings. May I now announce the official use of two strategic bridges and groundbreaking of National Road No. 1 segment, 42.88 km from Kien Svay to Neak Leung.