-Your Venerable Monks,
-His Excellency, Shin Hyun Suk, the Korean Ambassador to Cambodia,
-Your Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen, National and International Guests,
-Dear Our Beloved Compatriots!
Today I am very delighted to join with Your Venerable Monks, Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen as well as the people of Kandal, Kampong Speu, Takeo, and Kampot Province who reside along the National Road No. 3 in The Official Inauguration of the New Section of National Road No. 3 from Trapang Ropov to Kampot Province (32.7km long), Kompong Bai Bridge (290m long), and the Opening of the Reconstruction Site for a Section of National Road No. 3 from Chom Chao to Kampot Province (137.5km long) under the Korean Concessional Loan of Cooperation Fund for Economic Development and partial funding of the Royal Government of Cambodia.
This new achievement represents a bright outcome of mutual cooperation between Cambodia and Korea. Hence, on behalf of the RGC and the people of Cambodia I would like to express my deepest appreciation through H.E. Shin Hyun Suk, the Korean Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, to the government and the people of Korea who have been continuously provided cooperational grants and loans for the development of Cambodia in all sector, especially, for the rehabilitation and development of physical infrastructure.
Indeed, the Inauguration of the New Section of National Road No. 3 from Trapang Ropov to Kampot Province is resulted from the RGC’s proposal submitted to Korea counterpart at the ASEAN+3 Summit at Singapore, 2000 to link the section of National Road No.3 which had already been repaired under the World Bank’s financing from Viel Ringh to Trapang Ropov. On the other hand, the opening of the reconstruction site of National Road 3 from Chom Chao to Kampot province is the continuation of mutual cooperation initiated by H.E. Roh Mo Hyun, the former South Korean president. At the same time, the Republic of Korea, under the leadership of H.E. Lee Myung Bak, the recently-elected president who has helped me since a very long long time as my economic advisor, has extended the concessional loan for 2008-2011 from which I had prioritized to physical infrastructures rehabilitation such as construction of water treatment station and development of Steung Siem Reap, rehabilitation of link from Kampot procincial center to Krong Kep, rebuilding of road 121 from National Road No. 3 to Tek Chhou.
The National Road 3 was chronically damaged due to war and flood, transportation is not smooth, people living along the road seems to be isolated, the flow of goods is still limited, hence the rehabilitation of linkages of the National Road No. 3 from Chom Chao to Kampot is genuinely meaningful and beneficial, especially to the economy and society because once this road has been completely repaired, 450,000 people living in 42 communes of the 12 districts in Kandal, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampot and Phnom Penh will benefit directly from this project, and 1.5 million people residing in the above mentioned provinces and neighboring provinces will benefit indirectly from the project.
I firmly believe that use of this national road is another evidence of implementation of national development policies of the government which develop the rural area and local communities first by concentrating on the development of key foundations of the economies and societies aiming at ensuring sustainable, rapid long-term economic growth. I also contend that the key resolution to the rehabilitation and construction of infrastructure for 10-15 years to come will enable Cambodia to achieve strategic goal of internal integration of all regions across the country, both at cities, populated areas and remote areas and also bring Cambodia with promising opportunities to foster regional integration, particularly linking the transportation network with neighboring countries will foster freighting of stability, safety, high economic efficiency and low transportation cost.
Once the National Road 3 has been completely reconstructed the agricultural and agro-business products produced in the above mentioned districts will be transported through this National Road and then link to Viel Ringh through National Road 4 to other export-processing areas, which are to be operated shortly in the Dragon’s Head area of Sihanouk Ville. I firmly believe that after the operation of the National Road 3 and the export-processing economic zone the farms, fruit orchards, vegetable plantations and poultry farms located in the southeast of the kingdom of Cambodia will also take place simultaneously to supply all kinds of raw materials with large quantity for export processing. Moreover, the National Road 3 is one of the most important roads to serve the need of the tourism industry by making the activities along the beaches and islands of Kampot and Kep City more active as well as improving the natural and ecological tourism sites of the Bokor National Resort by using the Cambodia’s natural resource to its full potential which stretches along the 400km long beach, at Korng Kang Natural Ecological Forest and at other mountain ranges in order to help improve the national budget from the leading tourism sector to be a strong catalyst for national economy.
In this sense, it could be concluded that the main objective of the reconstruction of the National Road 3 is a part of the implementation of the Rectangular Strategy of the Royal Government of Cambodia to reconstruct and develop the infrastructure which can actually ensure the safety of the transportation of our people from different parts of the country as well as to support the economic activities in the southwest region of the country including the development of tourism sector, natural and eco-tourism sites, the processing of mineral resources from limestone and the improvement and the best use of the agricultural land. The road from the provincial town of Kam Pot to Trapang Ropov, which is a part of the ASEAN highway (AH123) of the sub-corridor of the beach ranging from the Cham Yeam in Koh Kong province, Sre Ambel, Veal Regn, Trapeang Ropauv, Kam Pot, Kam Pong Trach, Lok.
Cambodia is fully determined to improve the economic integration on land transportation infrastructures by having successfully renovated the ASEAN highway AH11 in Cambodia. As for the fASEAN highway AH123 of the beach sub-corridor there is only a 50km long road from Kam Pot to Kampong Trach and a 17km long road from Kampong Trach to Rolok remain to be constructed. The financing for the construction of these two roads has been approved already and it is just a matter of time when they should commence.
The 4-year term of the Royal Government of the 3rd Legislative of the National Assembly represents an important crossroad for the Royal Government to achieve development and prosperity. We have overcome many obstacles and implemented various operations in our hard and painful reform. In particular, Cambodia has recently received many international influences such as rising oil prices, global warming, rising food prices and so forth. However, in spite of these negative effects, the impact remains low as Cambodia has made sacrifices, put in all necessary efforts, and been determined to raise its own capacity to make reforms in all sectors by performing non-stop work to overcome all the challenges and risks. In this sense, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to all Cambodian nationals to support and participate in the RCG’s reform programs in order to rescue Cambodia from the handcuff of poverty and sufferings which aim at realizing prosper development for our country.
Once again, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and its people, and on my own behalf, I would like to show my profound gratitude to the Government of Korea and its people that have provided valuable assistances to Cambodia, especially the provision of cooperation fund for the rehabilitation of the National Road No.3, and I hope the rehabilitation project of road No. 33 from Kampot to Kampong Trach will be financed as expected. At the same time, I would like to thank all friend countries and development partners that always provide all kinds of support, either mental or material, to rehabilitate and redevelop Cambodian socio-economy after being destroyed by the 2-decade civil war.
Moreover, I would like to thank people living along the National Road No.3, local authorities and armed forces that have provided cooperation, representing the good trait of our people, to enable the road construction from Trapang Ropov to Kampot Municipality as expected. I would also like to appeal to our people to carry on this good cooperation and protect the construction project of the National Road No.3 from Kampot to Chom Chao in order to complete on time. I would also like to express my deep gratitude to the Export-Import Bank of Korea that has provided this loan on time; and I would also like to congratulate Kukdong Co. that has performed the rehabilitation of road segment from Kampot to Trapang Ropov on time and of high quality standard. I also wish this company success in the rehabilitation project of the National Road No. 3 from Kampot to Chom Chao in which KCI Co. has been assigned as the technical consultant, and I encourage both companies to continue their implementation of the rehabilitation and technical consultancy to achieve success in the rehabilitation of this important national road on time and at international quality standard.
Finally, in this large and happy gathering at the Inauguration of the 32.7-Km long road segment of the National Road No.3 from Trapang Ropov to Kampot Municipality, the 290m long Kampong Bai concrete bridge; and at the opening of construction site of the 137.5km long of the National Road No.3 from Kampot to Chom Chao; I would like to wish Your Venerable Monks, Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, Cambodian nationals, teachers, and students the 5 Gems of Buddhist Blessing.