– Your Venerable Buddhist Monks,
– Your Excellency Takahashi Fumiaki, Japanese Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia,
– Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
– Dear Compatriots,
Today, it is my great pleasure to join this ground breaking ceremony to construct a “One Stop Service” administrative building using loan provided by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and meeting with staff, workers and employees of the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, including civil servants of relevant departments working here on the International Labor Day of 1st May.
Indeed, the International Labor Day of 1st May in Cambodia have a profound meaning and it is celebrating every year, in particular since the liberation day of our people from the genocide regime on 7th of January, 1979; the 1st May was chosen to be a day to also celebrate Cambodian workers and a holiday for all staff, employees and civil servants. At the same time, theInternational Labor Day of 1st May is a good opportunity for me to joint and meet with you all and personally encourage all the 1273 staff and workers of the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, which a model organization for its best performance, and it is a successful public enterprise with high returns paid to the government budget, good management, solidarity, disciplines and orders.
I would like to take the opportunity of the International Labor Day of 1st May, which is a historical event of international workforce movement since 1886 aiming at improving working condition and living standard of workers and people around the world, to wish all workers, employees, members of labor organizations and unions across the country as well as employers a success, happiness and prosperity.
As, I have highlighted, the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port is still the gateway of our nation economy which is strategic and have potential in supporting national and international trade activities of Cambodia and it is the center of Sihanoukville Industrial Zone which is the gateway in west of Cambodia in facilitating warehousing and distribution of goods within the country, in the region and the world; it is generating substantial revenues into the national budget, creating employments to our people and in particular providing direct 1273 jobs to workers and employees in the port and 169,000 jobs to the population living in the Sihanoukville.
On behalf of the Royal Government and my own self, I am please and have been providing full support to initiatives in development of the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in the past and future which include the construction of 160 meters additional container-loading pier which is equipped with a modern and high capacity Gantry and Transfer Cranes, and in particular now we are participating in ground breaking ceremony to construct a “One-Stop-Service” building which is IT-equipped and use Electronic Data Interchange aiming at facilitating container loading by reducing paper works, time and illicit costs.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to the Government of Japan for helping to expedite the grand proposal from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and to support the study on Phnom Penh – Sihanoukville corridor development project by facilitating loan disbursement for detailed planning study in order to establish a Special Economic Zone in the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port and to provide additional loan to develop this zone during 2008 -2009. At the same time, on behalf of the Royal Government, I would like to highly commend the managements of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportations in leading on technical issues and the Ministry of Economy and Finance in leading on financial issues, especially board of directors, managements, workers and employees of the Sihanoukville Autonomist Port for their tireless efforts in fulfilling responsibility and achieving high rate of return every year. Furthermore, I would like to extend my appreciation to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, all related ministries and authorities at all levels for their active efforts to successfully implement the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port’s development project.
Together along with hard work of our officials, workers and employees in thriving to develop port and with collaboration among our officials from related ministries under the one roof, which included: custom officers, Cambodia Navigation Agencies, Camcontrol officers and check point police officers through single administrative system “One Stop Service”; this can assure the quality of services, business activities and to promote the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port to become a high standard international port among others ports in the region and around the world, which can bring name recognition and prestige of Cambodia on the international arena.
Moreover, the continued rehabilitation and development of physical infrastructures, including development of Sihanoukville Autonomous Port infrastructure is in line with the efforts put forward by the government to ensure that Cambodia has strong political stability, harmony and undertake reforms in every aspects to accomplish the objectives of the government’sRectangular Strategy aiming at accelerating “economic” growth, “employment” generation for our people, enhance “equity” in the society, also to improve “efficiency” in public sector under collaboration and support of development partnership, especially the “Government” and “People of Japan” and with effort and active participation from all ministries, institutions, authorities at all levels, workers, employees and all people in the country.
On behalf of the government, I would like to express my conviction to support and set priority for planning and development of transport infrastructure, which is objective number two of the Rectangular Strategy for improvement, expansion and well connect transport movement to others regions and entire country, especially for region in northeastern and southeastern to gain access to Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, in order to quickly integrate Cambodia within the region and the world. Obviously, in order to achieve this objective the government has invested to a great extent include public and private finance, foreign assistance and others loan to ensure the continuity of roads and bridges of entire country and especially national road that lead to Sihanoukville port, also include a maintenance of national road number four by AZ company; in addition, more reconstruction and repair included national road number three lead from Veal Veng to Tra Pang Pov, which just has been successfully completed; national road number three connecting Trapang Ropov to Kampot province has been 50% completed, national road number forty-eight connecting KohKong province to national road number four has 50% paved and building four bridges across ocean strait has completed about 20%, repair part of the national road number one and number two by customized bridges follow the regional standard; about 50% of the grand provided by Japanese government has been utilized. On top of this, I would like to express my full support to the Ministry of Public Works and Transportations to construct KangKeng airport and to repair railroad in both direction, especially from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville and connect directly to the port as quickly as possible.
All over again, on behalf of the Government of Cambodia, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the People andGovernment of Japan for actively participating in the reconstruction and development of our nation. I would like to express my thanks to H.E. Fumiaki Takahashi for playing an important role in ensuring success, especially strengthening and improving relationship and cooperation between our countries and our people. Indeed, it provided credit of 77 Million USD for repairing and development port infrastructure and provided grants such as scanner and equipments for combating terrorism to the port as well as the budget for the detailed study of economic zone that has approximate size of 70 ha within the port compound and would absorbs labor force from 30-50 thousands in the future.
In connection to the 120th anniversary of International Labor Day, it is the fourth year that I have jointed the celebration of this significant day meeting with and directly encouraging the staffs, workers and employees of Sihanoukville Autonomous Port and civil servants of the public organizations who are working in the port compound. The port is an outstanding public enterprise that has implemented its roles and responsibilities successfully in term of management, solidarity, morality and order. At the same time, Sihanoukville Autonomous Port is also an organization that strictly follows the terms in labor agreement, 1st May International Labor Day, by providing high social benefits to their staffs at all level, which make them feel warm, stability, healthy and good living conditions consistence to the main goals of the Royal Government in rapid development and poverty reduction.
I would like to take this auspicious day of 1st May International Labor Day to express my care and full support to enhance legal rights of workers and all forms of labors all over the country. And, I would like to dedicate this great day to be a day ofsolidarity, unity, equity, fraternity and development for all Cambodian people and to obtain bright future for all of us and for our next generation.
It is clear that to accelerate poverty reduction policy of the people, it can be done via promoting economic growth, creatingjobs for people, promoting equity in society and strengthening efficiency in public management. These have implemented for the sake of a bright future of Cambodia. I would recommend all relevant competencies and organizations put more effort and increase a close cooperation and coordination among each other in transparent manner and at high efficiency by making efforts to improve service delivery and management in the port, aiming at gaining confidence from customers, national and international investors and development partners in our commitment in rehabilitation and development of the nation.
I would like to extend my compliment to PENTA OCEAN and ITALIAN THAI JV that are the contractors responsible for extending capacity of container terminal and Pacific Consultants International for technical oversights. Finally, I would like to wish you all with five gems of Buddhist blessing. I would like to open the construction site for One Stop Service Building in Sihanoukville Autonomous Port compound for now.