– Your Venerable Buddhist Monks,
– Your Excellency Takahashi Fumiaki, Japanese Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia;
– Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;
– Our Compatriots
Today I have a great pleasure to join this inauguration ceremony of the Portion of National Road Number 2, from Takeo Provincial City to Phnom Den – Cambodia-Vietnam Border, with 51.6 Km in length constructed under the counterpart fund program of the Japanese Government and the Royal Government of Cambodia.
Japan is an exceptional friend and also the biggest donor country that always endorses and supports continuously since 1993 and at any circumstances in order to rehabilitate and develop Cambodia in all sectors, notably in rebuilding and development of the transportation infrastructure. In fact, just between the period from December 2005 to January 2006, Japan has provided an estimated grant of 1,563 Million Yens in cash which equals to 14,317,120 US Dollars to construct five bridges of which 2 were on the national road number 1 from Phnom Penh to Nak Loeung with a cost of 796 Million Yens or 7,291,380 US Dollars and the other 3 bridges on the national road number 23 which was equivalent to 767 Million Yens or 7,025,740 US Dollars and up to now those constructions already have completed 50 percent. Moreover, in near future I certainly hope that the people and government of Japan will provide additional grant funding for the reconstruction of the portion of the national road number 1 from Phnom Penh to Nak Loeung, especially to construct the 2nd bridge crossing over the Great Mekong River at Nak Loeung. These constructed assets from the Japanese grant support are the greatest treasures which provide continued benefit for Cambodians. With the gratitude paid to the Japanese Government and its people for their generosity, who have continuously provided humanitarian support to Cambodia, I would like to take this opportunity to ask H.E. Mr. Takahashi Fumiaki, the Japanese Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, to convey profound gratitude from the People and RoyalGovernment of Cambodia to the Japanese Government and its People who has always contributed to build and maintain peace and political stability, including socio-economic rehabilitation and development that help to gradually improve the living standards of Cambodian people. The Royal Government and People of Cambodia would like to highly appreciate for all these priceless generosities, which will be remembered.
For many years, the national road number 2 has been seriously damaged by the civil war, floods, and the lack of maintenance which isolated the regions of Cambodia-Vietnam border or the Phnom Den in the Takeo Province from Phnom Penh and other populated centers due to transport difficulties. Those were the reasons why I made an appeal to H.E. Mr. Obuchi, the former Prime Minister of Japan during his visit to Cambodia in 2000, as the outcome we have received the grant funding for the rehabilitation of the last portion of national road number 2 to improve strategic role of this road and to transform it into the blood vein of the economy that facilitate on land transportation, from Cambodia to Vietnam and from Vietnam to Sihanouk Ville sea port, by spending the shortest time and distance compare to others.
Generally speaking, this national road is the key to promote economic growth, development, strengthening international cooperation and investment in various sectors that will foster the living standard of the people around this region; as we can see there are many new achievements have been attained by both the Government and private sector including traffic circulation of commercial activities and tourist traveling to various historical and cultural places, and journey to visit Sihanouk Ville and Krong Kep beaches. These are the real benefits of roads and bridges that the Royal Government attaches the priority and supporting through all means in order to rehabilitate and construct the transportation system to be nationally and regionally connected so that it can provide the opportunity and way for our citizens to easily and cheaply transport goods in great quantity and on timely manner according to the demand of the market. Moreover, well functioning roads and bridges make it possible to construct schools, hospitals and to efficiently supply medicines, doctors and teachers to the people living in the remote areas and there is grater prospect in attracting foreign investment in different sectors that could promote employment and business activities that lead to revenue increase in national budget as well as to private sector. Good roads and bridges are the gates to connect Cambodian economy to regional and world market economy which is a factor in accelerating economic and social development, as a result our people can quickly come out of the poverty.
Indeed, the success in rehabilitation, development and maintenance of all physical infrastructures was made possible by strong and close cooperation among concerned government officials, local authority at different levels and the people. Moreover, the humanitarian contribution made by development partners is the encouragement and a crucial factor for the development of Cambodia after nearly two decades of prolonged war. In respond to the request and the needs of the Royal Government for resources to rebuild and develop the country, donor communities and friendly countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and especially Japan have provided timely effective supports. These noble gestures will be always remembered in our history by the People and the Government of Cambodia. We wish that this cooperation and support will continue to be extended to Cambodia in the future.
Once again, on behalf of the Royal Government and the people of Cambodia and myself, I would like to extend my deep appreciation to the Government of Japan in providing this valuable humanitarian assistance to Cambodia. At the same time, I would also like to thank the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and all donor countries as well as international institutions who have actively participated in the rehabilitation, reconstruction and development of Cambodian infrastructures for the cause of development and poverty reduction in our country.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to praise and highly value all management and staffs of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportations, local authorities and all related institutions who have made their utmost efforts to ensure the success of strategic plan on rehabilitation and development of road and bridge infrastructures, in particular, the portion of the National Road number 2 and drainage-bridges, including this long foundations of flood barrier. I would also like to congratulate the “CIENCO 1” company which is a Vietnam construction company and the “ACE” company of Thailand who have been cooperating with the “ORIENTAL” company of Japan and the local company “GEB” which responsible for technical operations; they have successfully built the portion of this strategic road regardless of some challenges and difficulties which have occurred.
At the same time, I would like to call for the attention of all people to be extra cautious while driving, not to over speed because it could lead to fatal accidents and serious injuries as well as damage many public and private properties. On another matter, I would like to request the heavy-loaded transportation companies to participate in taking care and maintaining roads and bridges infrastructures that have just been built and renovated to retain it in good condition in order to serve our common interests in the future.
Finally, I would like to wish Your Venerable Buddhist Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen with the Five Gems of Buddhist Blessings. I would like to announce the official use of the National Road number 2 from Takeo province (Ochambawk) to Cambodia-Vietnam border (Phnom Den) from now on.