Venerable Buddhist Monks,
Your Excellency SHYAM BAJPAI, Country Director of the Asian Development Bank, Cambodia Resident Mission
Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International guests,
Today, I have a great pleasure to participate in this opening ceremony for construction section of the national road No. 76 and 68 from Siem Reap to Poi Pet, including the inauguration ceremony for official use of the section of national road No. 5 and 6, which have been funded by an Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan.
Taking this auspicious occasion, on behalf of the Royal Government, People of Cambodia and myself, I would like to convey our sincere thanks to the ADB, which today is represented by SHYAM BAJPAI, in providing loans for rehabilitation and socio-economic development of Cambodia aiming at rapid poverty reduction of our people.
Indeed, since the mid of the 90s, ADB is the main development partner, which has had confidence in the Royal Government of Cambodia by providing loans in timely manner, regardless of national and international political conditions, for rehabilitation and development of Cambodia in every sector. Moreover, after the supports to complete the construction and rehabilitation of this road section, the Royal Government strongly hopes that ADB will consider additional loans for the construction of railroads section of 48 kilometers from Sisophon to Poi Pet. This is to connect railway system in Cambodia with the one in Thailand as well as with other infrastructure in order to allow Cambodia to rapidly integrate into regional economy.
On behalf of the people and the Royal Government of Cambodia, I highly appreciate and make a noble note of fine gesture of ADB that always remains our good friend who continues to help Cambodia at the time of needs.
The rehabilitation and reparation of the national roads No. 5 and 6; whether they are planned under flood emergency projects or any other projects; concretely contribute to the rehabilitation of roads connection that is the important economic veins of Cambodia and of all other member countries of ASEAN, especially of the GMS region.
As H.E. the Minister of Public Works and Transport has raised that after the reparation and improvement of these sections of the national roads No. 5 and 6, we will be able to reduce transportation time to Battambang and Siem Reap provinces from one day to only three or four hours.
Without any doubt, infrastructure is one of the most important sectors for sustainable development. Taking the actual situation of Cambodia, infrastructure sector represents three important aspects, which are: economic, social and security. The economic aspect of infrastructure can be seen in its importance to attract investments and to be investment targets. This is the fruitful contributions that allow Cambodia to build production basis and services, especially to define its position in the region and in the world. Social aspect of infrastructure is justified by the fact that besides being strong support to economic growth, roads and bridges are the key factors to poverty reduction through developed economic opportunities for the people such as jobs creation, revenue generation and transport. At the same time, infrastructure such as roads and bridges has security aspect in the sense that roads system and connection will increase number of travelers and activities in connected areas. Roads quality will increase population density along their side areas. This will surely transform deteriorated situation of remote areas to become well connected populated towns.
Moreover, roads and bridges that were destroyed during war and internal conflicts in the last two decades are the key elements for economic integration within the entire country.
Besides, the rebuilding and construction of national roads No.5 and No.6 from Poi Pet to Siem Reap as well as bridges and drainages along roads No.56 and No.68 are complementary works to the section of National road No.5 which has not been repaired in order to connect the road which is considered by ASEAN countries and the great Mekong sub-region as “Asia’s High Way” and the great Mekong sub-region is the first priority for the economic integration between Cambodia-Viet Nam-Thailand through trade by transporting goods from Bangkok to Ho Chi Min city of Viet Nam via Phnom Penh until Vong Tav’s port through Cambodia’s national road No.1 which has just been recently repaired and to be inaugurated for official use in the coming December.
These infrastructures not only help to ease trade on agricultural and industrial products of Cambodia but also importantly contribute to the flows of national and international tourists into Angkor Watt which represents the profound historical region of Cambodia and also one of the World’s Great Wonder.
Indeed, through these infrastructures the people of Cambodia can earn incomes to upgrade their living standards, hence enables them to send their children to school and hospital. Furthermore, they also help to improve the situations along the North-Western border of Cambodia by transforming it into a friendly region with peace, good cooperation, development, fast and good communication with Phnom Penh which represents the economic, trade, education and cultural center of the country which make it easy for us to protect the land, culture and our national pride like in the Angkor’s time.
The Royal Government still determines the rehabilitation and development of transport infrastructure, roads, water way and railway, as prioritized policy that needs special attention and to actively push this sector forward because roads and bridges are the main means of economic growth, enhancement of living standards, improvement of well-being and enrichment of the heart and soul of the people. Indeed, with good roads people can transport, exchange goods at a faster rate with greater quantity while maintaining good quality by spending less time and paying cheaper prices to the intended markets. Good roads can attract business people from all places to come and invest on all sectors including industry, agriculture and tourism which can create employments for the people and to help the constructions of schools and hospitals as well as deploying many qualified teachers and doctors to those remote areas and for a better protection of our land.
In the sense of great pride for all the achievements which we all have drastically accomplished and in the sense of deep optimistic for the future of Cambodia, I would like to appeal to the authority at all levels, leaders, and officials of Ministry of Public Works and Transportation to continue to cooperate and to better fulfill their duties in order to connect and to preserve good continuity of the transportation network in all the regions in the country. Moreover, the cooperation and the support of the people is a must to enhance the process of repairing and maintaining roads and bridges and to protect the safety, public and private properties, as well as the lives of the people by raising the awareness on safe-driving to avoid further fatal accidents. Most importantly, I would like to suggest the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation and all authority to impose strict measures on those officials and the owners of those overweight vehicles who are responsible for the damages of roads and bridges.
Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and the people, I would like to sincerely thank the government and the people of all those friendly countries and donors who always provide helps and supports both mentally and physically and financially for national reconciliation, rebuilding, and the development of the Cambodian economy, especially through the maintenance and construction of infrastructures which represents the key to increase the economic growth rate in order to alleviate poverty for the people of Cambodia. I would like to sincerely compliment and continue to support and encourage the leaders, government officials, workers and employees of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, authorities as well as concerning ministries and institutions who have devoted their hearts and souls in the cooperation in order to make way to ensure the success of the strategic planning of the government so far.
I would like to congratulate and to also compliment MUHIBBAH ENGINEERING CAMBODIA Co. Ltd, NAWARAT PATANAKARN PUBLIC Co. Ltd and the office of Public Works and Transportation in Battambang province who have worked hard in implementing the projects and the technical adviser (SMEC) who has controlled the technical aspects of the construction and maintenance of the national road No.5 and No.6 successfully on time with high quality standard in the region.
I would like to congratulate Guandong Provincial Changda Highway Engineering Co. Ltd, Khaou Chuly MKK Co. Ltd, and SPT Civil Group Co. Ltd who have been successful in the procurement to be the major implementers of the project and the Korean technical adviser (KCI) who has helped on the technical aspects in the construction of national road No.5 and No.6 from Poi Pet to Siem Reap and the construction of bridges on road No.56 and No.68 and I would also like to remind all the companies to try and conduct the work successfully on time as planned or before that by the end of 2008.
Finally, I would like to wish Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, national and international guests with Five Gems of Buddhist Blessings. May I now announce the official opening of the section of national road N0.5 and No.6 and the construction of national road from Poi Pet to Siem Reap, and the maintenance of bridges, drainages along the national road No. 56 and No.68.