… Today I have a great honor and pleasure to participate officially with HE Deputy Premier of Thailand Chavalit Yungchayut and the high-level delegation of the Kingdom of Thailand, and its Ambassador, in this auspicious inauguration of the Koh Kong Bridge. The bridge runs over the channel of Koh Pao (Dangtung), which links O Smach district of Koh Kong to Mundul Seima district heading to the border with Thailand. It is built by BOT investment system by Duty Free Shop Co. Ltd of Oknha Li Yong Pat.
… Koh Kong Bridge is the longest so far in Cambodia with the total length of 1.9 kilometers. It is the first bridge that runs over the sea channel and that is invested by the local and private company. The investment is yielded by the implementation of partnership between state and private and is an important model of participation by local private company in national construction and development in general and in the development of infrastructure in particular. This has taken shape at the time that the Government is actively pushing forwards reforms in all fields, speeding up socio-economic integration into the world as well as the region aimed at expediting the country’s development like other developed nations in the world.
… At the same time the bridge has a profound significance in closely linking and further strengthening the bond of relations between Cambodia and Thailand, as this would add on to the contribution to the socio-economic development, peace, political stability in the region and poverty reduction of the Cambodian people.
… Internal wars in the past two decades have isolated various parts of Cambodia from one another, especially Koh Kong province, which seems to have lost from the main current of the national economy. In fact, Koh Kong is a great island of economy with abundance of sea fish resources, forest, minerals, and is an economic and commercial exit to outside of Cambodia. In addition to this Koh Kong is a region with tourist potential that is yet to be explored and made used. Previously this place is linked only by air and water, which makes the construction of bridges and roads profoundly significant for such a sacred place to be accessible with other parts of Cambodia on land. Koh Kong is simultaneously contributing to the support of the economic growth and poverty reduction as it facilitates transportation from Thailand along the national road 48, which is under renovation, to Phnom Penh and other areas of Cambodia, connecting with the national road 4 at Chamka Luong, Sre Ambel. Furthermore this bridge is also sitting on the regional road link within the framework of the Mekong Sub-region, which is the closest link between Thailand and Vietnam via Cambodia’s national road 48, national road 4, national road 3 and national road 33.
… Having seen that the connection of this part with other parts of Cambodia would yield major significance, the Royal Government has also striven to keep the priority to restore and reconstruct the national road 48 that is almost completely destructed. May I take this opportunity to express my profound thanks to the Royal Government of Thailand for its heartfelt offer to provide grant in part with the Cambodian Government’s budget making it possible for the restoration and reconstruction of the road, the construction of which about 70% has been realized. As far as the national road 4 is concerned the Royal Government has offered in concession to a private company to provide care and maintenance and I have seen that the process of reconstruction has made progress and almost completed. With regard to the national road 3 from Veal Rinh to Kompot and the national road 33, the Royal Government has sought for loan from the World Bank and financing from South Korea. Therefore the vision to link countries in the region within the framework of the Mekong Sub-region, especially between Thailand and Cambodia and Vietnam via physical infrastructure would be realized in the near future. What we also have to achieve soon is the handling of problems concerning influx of goods and border crossing passengers with Vietnam and Thailand so that we could attain maximum economic gain from the integration.
… Spien Koh Kong is an infrastructure of strategic transportation that is aimed at serving and promoting commercial, agricultural, industrial and tourist sectors through the linkage of the north-western part to other parts of Cambodia and with Thai and Vietnam economic relations. We are proud that the bridge completed in the time when we have peace and political stability thanks to the implementation of our win-win policy. Political stability, peace and complete security are the environment conducive for private investment in all fields. My understanding is that this region has the most favorable conditions as it never faces with flood that is regular predator to other parts of Cambodia every year and causing damages to infrastructure, public and people properties. May I take this opportunity to appeal to national and foreign investors to think about investing in the region, processing for export is also included. I would guarantee cooperation and support of the Royal Government according to the principles and spirit of the new draft law on investment that has just been submitted for approval by the legislative body.
… Once again, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia and on my own behalf, may I express my profound thanks to the Royal Government of Thailand for the contribution of grant aid to the restoration and reconstruction of the national road 48 and to the Duty Free Shop Co. Ltd of Oknha Li Yong Pat for investing a great amount of capital in the construction of the bridge over this long sea channel. The company has also actively promoted developments in all sectors in Koh Kong province. On this occasion I also wish to thank the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and other financial countries and institutions for active contribution in the restoration and construction of infrastructure in Cambodia for the sake of development and poverty reduction.
… Before ending this speech I would like to offer my appreciation and continued encouragement to leaders and staff of the Ministry of Public Works and Transports, the local authority and concerned institutions and our people for their efforts made for a successful implementation of the strategic plan for infrastructure development. I wish to appeal to all our people to recognize and support the “BOT” investment system. Especially companies with heavy load of transportation should actively contribute to the collaborative spirit in sustaining maintenance for a long time to come…