H.E. Katsuhiro Shinohara, Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Distinguished National and International Guests,
Dear Officials, Laborers, Employees and Staffs at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Seaport!
Today I am greatly delighted to participate in the official inauguration ceremony of container lifting facilities under Japanese concession loan through JICA and meeting with officials, laborers employees at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Seaport and other civil servants of the competent authorities working in the port campus during the International Labor Day 1st May 2009.
Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia, I would like to request H.E. Katsuhiro Shinohara to convey my profound thanks to the Government and people of Japan, who have always contributed since 1993 to build and maintain peace, political stability, socio-economic development by improving infrastructure system in all sectors, particularly, in the area of public work, transportation and port by continuously providing substantial cooperative grants for human resource development, school building, hospitals, transportation infrastructure, and maintenance of roads and bridges throughout Cambodia.
In addition, Japan has provided concession financing since 2002 for repairing and developing seaport infrastructure with the amount of USD77 millions and cooperative grants for improving infrastructure and safety utilities in Cambodia’s international seaport aiming to protect and maintain human lives, ships and import/export goods at the autonomous seaport of Sihanouk province and Phnom Penh where I participated in the opening ceremony of construction in the occasion coincided with International Labor Day 1st May every year, including:
- 1st May 2005 : I joined in the opening ceremony of using 240m-container port constructed in 2002.
- 1st May 2006 : I took part in the opening ceremony of constructing 160m container port and administrative building of “One Stop Service”, equipping container lifting tools and electronic controlling system for all relevant agencies in compliance with Electronic Data Interchange-EDI, which reduced import/export time at Sihanoukville seaport from 3 hours to 5 or 10 minutes.
- 1st May 2007 : I participated in the opening ceremony of improving infrastructure and safety system at Cambodia’s international seaport.
- 1st May 2008 : I joined in the official opening ceremony for “One Stop Service” administrative building and safety utilities.
In any circumstances, the autonomous seaport of Sihanouk province still plays a role as an economic zone which is potentially strategic in sustaining national and international trade activities of Cambodia and is a core of industrial area because Sihanouk province is a west corridor and one of the 7 significant economic poles of Cambodia. The port has been facilitating to transfer, store and deliver various goods in all corners of the country, the region and the world, contributing to the collection of large amount of national revenues as well helping to create and maintain the professions and jobs for the people in the province and particularly directly employing 1068 people. These are the partial contribution to the poverty reduction.
The Sihanouk Autonomous Port can succeed through the concerted efforts of its management and employees who always take into account the development and capacity improvement to ensure efficiency and high standard services. Japan’s cooperative grants and loans have been used to finance the construction of port’s infrastructure and to equip security utilities and handling system, being inaugurated. This achievement will help transform the Sihanouk Autonomous Port into an international port with world-class standard among many other ports in the region and the globe, which, indeed, will contribute enormously in accelerating growth and social development. Continuous restoration and development of various physical infrastructure, including the Sihanouk Autonomous Port, is fully accommodating the Royal Government’s vision and efforts in bringing about concrete political stability and guaranteed security, and pushing for reform in all sectors in order to strengthen governance, speed up growth and social development through employment creation and equity, cooperation with various development partners, especially with the Japan’s government, participation from all levels of authorities, related ministries, and workers across the country in order to alleviate poverty. The Royal Government fully supports and gives priority to the restoration and development of transport network, which is a component of the Rectangular Strategy, to interlink transport across the country, especially from the isolated northeastern and southeastern parts to the port to speed up Cambodia’s regional and global integration. This vision can be realized through the utilization of all available means and resources such as government’s budget, private sector capital, grants and loans from development partners, to maintain all roads and bridges in the country, especially those connecting to the port, including the maintenance of the national road No.4 and the improvement of National Road No. 3 from Veal Renh to Trapeang Ropov and from Trapeang Ropov to Kampot Province and is linked to Phnom Penh, which started with the National Road No. 48 connecting Koh Kong to the National Road No. 4 with 4 bridges along the road and the restoration of the National Road No. 1 and No. 2 that are financed by Japan’s grants have been completed. Moreover, I fully support and urge the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to speed up its efforts to build Keng Kang Airport and to especially restore both railways from Phnom Penh to Sihanouk and the port.
Moreover, on behalf of the Royal Government and on my own behalf, I am pleased to continue to support all initiatives designed to improve Sihanouk Port, including the expansion of container fields, launching of modern handling systems, utilization of computers in “One Stop Service” building, the utilization of electronic data interchange, the use of security utilities in order to increase service delivery in this port.
I would like to thank the Government of Japan for approving various concession financings from the JBIC timely and for financing the feasibility study of Phnom Penh-Sihanouk Corridor Development, and detailed study of the establishment of the operating Special Economic Zone. I would like to express my appreciation and support to the management of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the port’s Board of Director, management, and laborers who have been fully committed to fulfilling the job and ensuring the highly productive profits every year. I would like to appreciate the Ministry of Economy and Finance, related ministries/institutions, as well as all level of local authorities for their cooperation in developing the Sihanouk Autonomous Port.
With respect to commemoration of 126th International Labor Day, it is already 10th year that I celebrate this meaningful day right here in the form of visiting and encouraging officials, laborers and employees of Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS) and officials of all relevant institutions who are working in the port premise. Obviously, the port of Shihanouk province remains leading agency in fulfilling duties as successful public enterprise in terms of management, leadership, keeping solidarity, discipline and order, along with labor condition which is compliant with International Labor Convention 1st May by keeping implementing policy of paying high social benefit to workers and employees at all level, which make our employees feel warm, stable, healthy and have good livelihood in conformity with main objectives of policies of the Royal Government of Cambodia to develop and rapidly reduce poverty of Cambodian people.
To promote poverty reduction policy of the people through the promotion “economic growth”, generating “employment for Cambodian laborers”, raising “social equity” as well as strengthening “efficiency of public sector”, which we are jointly adopting for bright future of Cambodia, I would like to advise all competent authorities and institutions concerned to further fulfill duties and cooperate more closely in transparent and efficient manner by revamping service delivery and port management system aiming at gaining credibility from customers, international and national investors and development partners for our commitment to restore and develop the nation. In particular, I would like to suggest all Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, officials, laborers and employees to pay attention and make utmost efforts to successfully compete in the framework of market competition in the capacity of Cambodia as a member of international communities and organizations in the world and the region. At the same time, I would like to request all private ports to carry out state principles and duties in order to ensure that competition in port sector is fair, transparent and equitable and to jointly cope with the impact from financial crisis and world economic downturn in a common goal to bring about national development, prosperity and rapid poverty reduction.
I would like to take today celebration of International Labor Day 1st May to express my nostalgia, sincere love, high appreciation and full support for promotion of legal rights of all workers and employees nation-wide and to consecrate the spirit of this meaningful day into solidarity, unity, equity, brotherhood and development for all Cambodian people, our bright future and our children of next generations to come.
At the end, I would like to wish all Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International Guests, Officials and Employees 4 gems of Buddhist blessings: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.
May I inaugurate the Container Lifting Facilities and Installation of Automation System of Shihanouk Autonomous Port hereinafter!