Assistance from Republic of Korea to Rebuild National Road 21
I am so pleased today to be able to join with all of you to launch the groundbreaking ceremony to rebuild the national road 21. Actually, the project has commenced for nearly a year now. Today we are launching the groundbreaking ceremony to rebuild the national road, but in fact, we are building a completely new road because nothing of the former road is left. We say so just to reflect that we had built it and repaired it previously.
I would take this opportune moment to express our greatest thanks for the Government and people of the Republic of Korea for their commitments to provide assistance for the people of Cambodia. In relation to financing of the construction, we can say that RoK has been generous to either build, rebuild or in the course of discussing roads projects in the southern part of Cambodia – national road 3, 33, national road 2 and 22, for instance. Discussion is underway for the construction of national road 48.
National Road 21 – Many Bridges Needed
I thank Cambodian friends near and far, especially the Republic of Korea for providing assistance in forms of grant and concessional loans for these projects. We can say that it was hard to seek financial assistance to rebuild national road 21, which was seven meters in some width and more or less in various segments. The 2000 big flood caused damages to the road and we have used national budget for the engineering team to rebuild it. The road is not that far from Phnom Penh but the condition was poor. We have here over 50 canals. We had built in the past some wood or Bailey bridges over them. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s we were satisfied with Bailey bridges. It helped us connect internally but also with other countries.
What concerns us now is the present development. Roads that were seven meters in width have now enlarged to eleven meters and are still small. We have growth of various kinds of vehicle and that has put pressure on country’s difficulty because of lack of bridges. The cost of rebuilding this road is 61 million USD, of which the Republic of Korea financed 52 million USD and the Royal Government of Cambodia provided its counterpart funding of over ten million USD. This will see us through only the phase-i project. We still have phase-ii project that consists of another 8 kilometers of road.
We have expenses to cover on impacts on people’s homes and building bridges. We could have spent less should there be fewer bridges to build. In Cambodia, we have so many water passages from rivers to lakes and they are good for agriculture and use of water for irrigation or consumption. However, they are obstacles to transports and communication for which we are to spend more money to build bridges. Former minister of Transports and Public Works was right when he said water is enemy of the road. It is true. We need both water and roads/bridges. We must spend on infrastructure so that our people could benefit from both.
I would like to take this opportune moment to express once again my gratefulness to the Republic of Korea for providing, after the two countries reestablished relations in 1996/1997, investments, grants and concessional loans, and lately increasing number of Korean tourists.
Nearly 10,000 Cambodian-South Korean Children
… We have recovered from the difficult stage of finding fund for the construction. The Republic of Korea has answered to our request today. I hope that HE Ambassador will report to HE Park Guen-hye that Cambodia could use additional fund and it should not be a deduction from other projects requested. I may have the attention of Mr. Hong Young Pyo that Cambodia still needs about ten million USD for the phase-ii construction of another eight kilometers of the road. I must say that I am so proud with the foreign policy that I determinedly set out to establish relation between Cambodia and South Korea or Republic of Korea. I conducted official visit to South Korea right after we have the agreement signed. It was the time of President HE Kim Young-sam. It was the first visit of the Royal Government of Cambodia’s leader to the Republic of Korea.
Since then, the Republic of Korea’s Presidents HE Roh Moo-hyun and HE Lee Myung-bak visited Cambodia. I hope HE Park Geun-hye will visit Cambodia soon as our two countries are in good relations. The two countries are like the in-laws as we now have many Korean-Cambodian children. Many Cambodian women married off to Koreans. Last year, in the ASEAN-Korea meeting, I visited Korea. If we are to count, there are now nearly 10,000 Korean-Cambodian children. The Korean Minister of Education said to find a way to let those children know both Korean and Khmer languages […]
National Road 21 Strengthens Cambodian Trade Advantage
… Previously, we encountered difficulty from lack of roads and bridges. Once the road and bridges are here, our people living along who suffer from construction impacts like dust and noise, will enjoy the fruit of it. People’s income will increase and we will be able to compete with products from neighboring countries because our good road will lower transport costs. In trade, local or foreign, competition rests in transportation. Example, we need to transport produces from Sa Ang or Koh Thom to Phnom Penh. When the road is bad, it would increase cost of transportation. This would lead to a situation that produces from Koh Thom and Sa Ang could not compete with those coming from Kien Svay or Punhea Loeu or other places.
I am seeking our people’s understanding for the hardships caused by this construction. I would take this opportune moment to express my sincere appreciation to the Ministry of Transports and Public Works as well as the Ministry of Economy and Finance for providing fund in a timely manner. Constructing this road requires lots of money. We had had to face it though to resolve related impacts […]
National Road 21, Bridges of Jrey Thom and Tonle Bassac Ready in 2017
I would take this solemn occasion to express my sincere appreciation to sub-national authorities – provinces, districts as well as villages where the road go through. Today we are launching the groundbreaking ceremony here. We also have a bridge – Jrey Thom – Long Binh, whose construction is underway, linking Cambodia and Vietnam, will be completed in 2017. The bridge over Tonle Bassac will be ready in 2017. I hope that after we achieved this road, people will benefit from shortening their travel time, while more tourists and trade activities will improve and increase.
Just now, I came across people from Kraing Yov. Previously, Kraing Yov is far and disconnected. At present, Kraing Yov has its own colleges and becomes a connecting location from Sa Ang of Kandal to Prey Kabas district of Takeo. I hope that one day I will visit Kraing Yov to see achievements and fruits of development from 1995 project … When the national road 21 comes through here, situation of Kraing Yov will even be better.
I am grateful for our people who gather here today. We will receive new deity at 8pm this year. I will welcome the new deity in Siem Reap for the commencement of the Angkor Sangkranta event. I hope that our people will continue to progress through efforts that we are making together. I hope our people will think and remember hardships from the past and will make headway to new stage with more progress.
Let us all Respect Traffic Law
I would not take much of your time. I would just reinforce what HE Tram Iv Toek, Minister of Transports and Public Works, has appealed to our people to respect traffic law. People should think about respect one’s own life and refrain from lethal traffic accident. I think that we should respect our own life and others’. I thank Buddhist monks and people for taking their precious time to participate in the ceremony to launch the construction of the national road 21 … After the liberation on 7 January 1979, our people grew from about five million people to about 15 million now. Population growth rate is high. Finally, with this ceremony to launch the construction of national road 21, financed by the Republic of Korea and RGC’s counterpart fund, I wish you all the end of old year of Goat and beginning of the Khmer New Year of Monkey, Buddhist Era, 2560, the four Buddhist blessings./.