– Your Venerable Monks,
– H.E. Truong Vinh Trong, Deputy Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Vietnam,
– Excellencies, Members of the Senate, Members of the Parliament, and Members of the Royal Government,
– Your Excellency Ambassador and High Level Delegates of the People’s Republic of Vietnam,
– Distinguished National and International Guests,
– H.E Chairman, Provincial Governor, and Members of the Triangle Zone Coordinating Committee (Cambodia-Lao-Vietnam)
– Dear Compatriots, Teachers and Students!
Today it is my great pleasure and honor to participate with H.E. Truong Vinh Trong, Deputy Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Vietnam to officially inaugurate the segment of the National Road No.78 from Banlung of Rattanakiri provincial town to Oyadav of Cambodia-Vietnam border under the concessional loan from the Government of the People’s Republic of Vietnam (PRV) and Counterpart fund of the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC). Taking this solemn opportunity, I would like to request Excellency Deputy Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Vietnam to convey the deepest thanks and gratitude from the Royal Government and people of Cambodia to the people and Government of the People’s Republic of Vietnam, who are close friends, sharing happiness and sorrow together long time ago, especially during the time of hardship faced by Cambodia. Moreover, Vietnamese friends constantly support Cambodia’s development in all sector, especially the renovation and improvement of Cambodian transport infrastructure, and now Vietnam provides concessional loan for the construction of the segment of the National Road No.78 from Rattanakiri provincial town to Cambodia-Vietnam border (Oyadav International Border Pass) in order to contribute to economic growth and job creations for Cambodian people, which is the key to enhance the living standard of the people as well as quickly liberating the people from poverty. On behalf of the people and Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to highly appreciate and record the perfect gesture and mindset of the Government and people of the People’s Republic of Vietnam in the history and heart of all Cambodian people.
The National Road No.78 is the intersection that is divided into the National Road No.7 in O Pong Moan village of Steung Treng province, which is a 123.1 km segment from O Pong Maon to Banlung of Rattanakiri province, being constructed under the concessional loan from the People’s Republic of China. This construction was recently started on 12 November 2009 and has, so far, achieved about 12.48%.
As I have already mentioned that the construction of segment of the National Road from Banlung to Oyadav is aiming to pose favorable condition for the transport of materials and facilities for the construction of segment of the National Road from Banlung to O Pong Maon and I have also compared it with the left back foot of the Dragon; and the segment from Banlung to O Pong Maon is the back foot finger having tail at the Emeral Triangle Area in Steung Treng, called Triangle Dragon Tail by the Sub-regional Community; and this Dragon body is from the National Road No.7 to National Road No.6A and National Road No.4, which is the segment linked to the head located in Sihanoukville port. During the 3 Legislatures of the National Assembly, we have actively cooperated to almost complete the construction of this powerful Dragon with the objective to promote national economic growth and Cambodian family economy, except the connection of leg fingers to increase the Dragon’s potential. Frankly speaking, the promotion of construction of the inter-connected road network in the northern and northeastern part of Cambodia is the increase of regional potential, that is favorable in planting the agro-business products, and is the natural tourism resort with cold climate and waterfall, hundred years of historical lake, that can attract investors and international tourist arrivals, to help promote national economic growth as well as family economy through the flow in and out of the transportation in order to exchange products inside the country and with neighboring country, having the National Road No.7 as a master network, playing role as the most significant economic vein for Cambodia and other countries in the region, and have created favorable conditions for good cooperation among the three countries: Cambodia-Lao-Vietnam.
According to the report from the Excellency Minister of Public Works and Transport and based on the Construction Plan, we have found that this National Road 78 will highly effective to serve transportation traffic of Northern sub-corridor (or second sub-corridor) of economic corridors of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), which links all road networks in this greater sub-region from the East to the West and connect Kingnhing Seaport of Vietnam to Steung Treng, Preah Vihear and world heritage regions in Siem Reap and Utdor Meanchey, which clearly confirms that Cambodia dragon is lively and fully energetic to accelerate economic growth and raise livelihood of Cambodians from poverty and enable them with spiritual welfare and strong physical condition because we are easier to construct schools, hospitals and pagoda at the region where it seemed to be very far from other regions due to lack of road infrastructure unlike today.
Furthermore, this National Road No.78 serves as bridge of great potential for road freighting of products made by the people of the 3 countries Cambodia-Vietnam-Lao, leading to development and good cooperation in accordance with the development plan of dragon tail triangle of North-Eastern Cambodia with Vietnam and Lao by taking Emerald Triangle of Cambodia-Lao-Thailand as a core. Being ASEAN Road No.11, the National Road No.78 will link Vientiane city of Lao PDR and Phnom Penh city to international sea road through Preah Sihanouk Port by the National Road No.4 or by Cambodian rail road or head to Thailand through Poi Pet gate.
The Royal Government is still firm that rehabilitation and development of transport infrastructure of road, water, rail and air and port is policy priorities, which is to be paid great attention and be promoted most actively because roads and bridges are indispensible means and locomotive to promote socio-economic growth, enhance livelihood and welfare as the slogan puts “Having Road is Having Hope”, with good road, our people can transport and trade goods and products to market timely with big quantity, freshly with cheap cost. Good roads can also attract investors to invest in all sectors including industrial, agriculture and tourism sectors which can create more employments for the people and ease their traveling and transportation to schools, hospitals, and other public places, especially for sending qualified teachers and doctors to far flung areas.
At the same time, on behalf of the RGC and the people of Cambodia I would like to express my appreciation for the government and people of various ally countries and development partners for having always provided us with continuous spiritual, physical, and financial supports for the development and rehabilitation of Cambodia’s socio-economy through the improvement and construction of transportation infrastructure. I would also like to thank and continue to support and encourage all leaders, civil servants, workers, employees, of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, authority at all levels as well as related institutions for having tried their outmost to cooperate and facilitate the RGC in successfully achieving its strategic goals as adopted so far, especially, the construction of this section of National Road No.78.
I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate and highly encourage the CIENCO 1 Company, the constructor of this segment of the National Road No.78, with cooperation from the local company and the TSC Company and a Cambodian commercial enterprise as the technical advising firm for having jointly been responsible for the successful completion of the project according to the international technical standard.
While we are enjoying the traveling on these roads days and nights and all in seasons, there are still concerns about the traffic accidents occurring every year, especially we have observed that in only one month during the Khmer New Year in 2008, the death toll was 178 and jumped to 201 in 2009. This was caused by the lack of care and ignorance while driving. Therefore, I would like to remind you all again and again to refrain from driving over 90km/hr at rural areas and less than 40km/hr at urban areas. As for motorcycle drivers, please wear your helmets at all time.
Before ending my remark, along with the official inauguration of the segment of the National Road No.78 from Banlung to Oyadav, I would like to whish Your Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International Guests, Civil Servants, Students and all Teachers, the four Gems of Buddhist Blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength, during this upcoming Khmer New Year.