Your Venerable Monks,
Her Excellency ZHANG JIN FENG, Ambassador of the PRC to the Kingdom of Cambodia,
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests,
Dear Compatriots, Teachers and Students!
Today, it is my great pleasure and honor to come again to Stung Treng Province to joint with Her Excellency ZHANG JIN FENG, Ambassador of the PRC in the inauguration ceremony to officially put in use the section of the National Road No. 7 from Kratie Town to Stung Treng and Trapaing Kriel (Cambodia – Lao border). I still remember that this 196.8 km road rehabilitation project, including the Sekong Bridge with the length of 1,057 meter is the project that I presented at the ground breaking ceremony in November 2004; 4 months after the government convened its First Cabinet Meeting of the Third Legislature of the National Assembly on 16 July 2004.
The rehabilitation of the section of the road from Kratie province to Dongkrol cost around USD70 million, of which the interest free concessional loan is 520 million Yuan and the Cambodian government counterpart funding amounted to USD4.3 million. Moreover, the section from Dongkrol to Trapaing Kriel is financed under the grant from PRC. At the same time, PRC has provided additional USD600,000 in the form of cooperation grant for mine and explosive substance clearance along the National Road No. 7 from Kratie province to the Cambodia – Lao border.
All these are the fruitful outcomes entailed from the cooperation and the 50 years of close friendship relations between Cambodia and China that our people are much appreciated. Taking this auspicious opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government and People of Cambodia, I would like to kindly ask Her Excellency ZHANG JIN FENG, Ambassador of the PRC to the Kingdom of Cambodia, to convey the deep gratitude from the Government and the People of Cambodia to Government and the People of China – a long true friend that has continuously supported Cambodia in terms of cooperation grants and concessional loans to develop Cambodia in various sectors, in particularly the rehabilitation and development of infrastructure. I am convinced that due to our proper assessment as well as addressing and understanding the issue, thus we indeed will achieve the poverty reduction of our people, especially to reach the Millennium Development Goals to half the poverty by 2015.
Indeed, the rehabilitation of the section of the National Road No. 7 that we are inaugurating now is important for the whole Cambodian society and economy and also it is one of the new potential resulted from the constant and utmost efforts of the Royal Government to share the fruits of economic growth with equity aiming at poverty reduction of our people through gradual reduction of inequality in the society. At the same time, the opening of the section of the National Road No. 7 will broaden new prospect to prepare the base for economic growth in order to gain maximum benefits from natural resources in Northern areas, development of agriculture, mining, recreation and a create foundation to joint the development initiatives with the private sector which is the engine for growth, progress and prosperity. In near future, Mondul Kiri, Ratanakiri and Stung Treng provinces will be transformed owing to natural resource potentials, favorable transportation movement network, and exchange of agricultural and agro-industrial products with other areas across the country and other neighboring states in the region. Cross border transportation under the ASEAN framework will occur on this section which connects the corridor of ASEAN or Asia roads – AH 11 that cross Cambodia territory in length of 755 km from Trapaing Kriel, Stung Treng, Kampong Cham, Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville city. Up to now, Cambodia completed its obligation under ASEAN framework regarding the rehabilitation of the above road network that has provided opportunity to our neighbor Lao to transport goods to sea port.
In particular, today is a notable day in the history of Cambodia and Lao countries as the Cambodian National Road No. 7 has been connected to the Lao National Road No. 13 with the length of 6 km; it is financed by the cooperation grant from Chinese people provided to the people of our both countries. The connection of this Asia road No. 11 that start from Vientiane city crossing provinces of Banlao – Bakhek – Seno – Bakse – Veanham – Trapaing Kriel – Stung Treng – Kratie – Kampong Cham – Phnom City to Sihanoukville; it is the result of close and long lasting cooperation of governments in the region in order to make a foundation to join globalization movement and practical cooperation to promote mutual development for the Asia nations that currently facing many challenges like high oil prices, climate changes, soaring food prices and etc.
I have called the Asia Highway No. 11 as the Cambodia economic dragon. This inter-crossing transportation network in the near future, after the National Road No. 76 from Snoul to Sean Monorom – Dak Dam (Cambodia – Vietnam border), National Road No. 78 from Our Pong Moun – Ban Long – Oryadav (Cambodia – Vietnam border), section of the national Road No. 66 from Roveng to Thalapriwat, connects to this Cambodia economic dragon and create the cross cutting economic link to the head of the dragon at Sihanoukville port to further transport goods to other countries by sea. At the same time, this cross linking transportation network will promote tight and broader cooperation between Cambodia, Vietnam and Lao and will lay the foundation for effective transportation in the north sub-corridor, one of the corridors among the key economic sub-corridors in the south of the GMS.
On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I am still committed to rehabilitate and construct road and bridge infrastructure networks in order to create a base for the domestic integration by connection areas across the country, including cities, centers, and remote rural areas and will continue the integration in the region through connecting the transportation network with the neighboring countries in order to create an enabling transportation infrastructure with stability, security, economic capability, low cost transpiration and in order to facilitate transport activates. Concerning the rehabilitation of transportation network, I envisage that Cambodia requires at least additional 10 to 15 years in order to rehabilitate and modernize its transport infrastructures to the level of neighboring countries. At the same time, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport is undertaking a detail study concerning transport by waterway and by sea in order to develop a master plan aiming at utilizing the Cambodia’s rivers, water canals natural potentials.
The National Road no. 7, which is inaugurating for official use, is not only the back bone of Cambodia – Lao – Vietnam development project, but it is also another proof of participation from our country to implement infrastructure development policy of the Royal Government, which give special focus on rural development and local community, including road network, irrigation system, hospital, school, pagoda and etc.
Indeed, the inauguration of this road clearly illustrates that the Royal Government has expanded road network country wide in the Kingdom of Cambodia in order to facilitate trade, promote rural development and tourism, integrate Cambodia into the region and the world, to assist the nation development and enhance safe traveling. This is a great and valuable achievements made by the Royal Government of the third legislative of the National Assemble through the implementation of itsRectangular Strategy, of which the strategic rectangle of developing and building physical infrastructure attained prideful results. Indeed, the restoration of the National Roads has almost been completed and the National Road network is better in general. Moreover, the frequent and constant road maintenance and repairing have been improved throughout the country. In addition, in term of institutional arrangement, Law on Road that stipulated the role and responsibility of road transportation had been drafted and submitted to the Council of Ministers. The Law on Road Traffics was adopted by the National Assembly and Senate and the Law on Road Safety has promulgated since 2006.
On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I strongly commit, put more effort and fully support the restoration and building the physical infrastructure, in particular to pave all national roads. Moreover, based on the strategic road development plan of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, I would like to point out that Cambodia will need about USD2,500 million for restoration of road network between year 2006 to 2020 and we need additional resources to develop railway, waterway and air way.
The report of H.E. Sun Chanthol emphasized that based on the plan, this project is planned to finish in 44 months that would be in August 2008. However, we manage to finish before plan, including the second phase construction for 6 kilometers long. Taking this opportunity, I would like to profound thank the people who live around the areas for their good cooperation that is a great virtue from our Cambodian citizen and facilitating the construction project which has been smooth and timely. I would like to thank all level of local authorities, Royal Armed Forces that offered a good protection services for the National Road Restoration Project. At the same time, I would like to thank and congratulate Shanghai Construction Group General Co. that implements the National Road No. 7 Restoration Project with quality and on time and I would like to thank the Third Railwail Survey & Design Institute that is responsible for technical inspection to comply with international technical standards.
Finally, along with the inauguration for the official use of 196.8 Km of the National Road No. 7 from Kratie Town to Stung Treng and Trapaing Kriel (Cambodia-Lao Border) and 137 meter of Prek Chlong Bridge on the National Road No. 7 (Snuol, Kratie), I would like to wish all of you the five gems of Buddhist Blessing.