Your Venerable Buddhist Monks,
H.E. Viraphand Vacharathit, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Kingdom of Cambodia,
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Today, I have a great pleasure to joint you all in the opening of the construction site for rehabilitation of segment of National Road No. 67 to be funded jointly by the Royal Thai Government from Anlong Veng to National Road No. 6 with length of 131 km and 15 km to Siem Reap, by using the Double Bituminous Surface Treatment (DBST) under the concessional loan and also in the official inauguration of the 18 km long road from Chaom-Sangam to Anlong Veng funded by grant.
In this auspicious occasion, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and Cambodian People, I would like to express my gratitude to the Thai Government and it’s people who have contributed to the rehabilitation and development of Cambodia in many sectors including human resources development, building a large school in Kampong Thom and especially, the restoration of a 152 km long of the National Road No. 48 from Chamkar Luong to Koh Kong, the grant for the building of 4 bridges across the sea channel on National Road No. 48 and now providing us with 122.5 million baht or 3,062,500 US dollars in grant and 1,300 million baht or 32.5 million US dollars in concessional loan for the restoration this important National Road No. 67.
This is the on-going historical tie and strong cooperation that benefiting both the people of Thailand and Cambodia as well as promoting development in all sectors including security, safety and respect each other’s sovereignty along the border which are the foundation and strategic priority. Moreover, in the near future we will get the railroad link between the two countries in Poipet, Banteay Mean Chey Province.
During the last decades, Cambodia has overcome many difficulties and challenges. We get to this stage because of our devotion and strong determination that made Cambodia a country full of peace with improved public order, cooperation and development. Indeed, these achievements can be made during the time of political stability and country wide peace which are the preconditions for Cambodia to move forward in its effort for poverty reduction, respecting human rights and dignities, strengthening democracy and achieve sustainable development.
For instance, by focusing on improving the efficiency of the infrastructure restoration and development which is the potential means, the Royal Government still set the priority in the rehabilitation and development of transportation infrastructure such as road, railroad, waterway, airway and port which are in need of great attention and to further improve in the future. The Royal Government is still strongly committed to successfully accelerate economic growth and social development which aim at rapid poverty reduction of Cambodian people. In this spirit, Roads and Bridges remain the Hope and are necessary means to Accelerate Economic Growth and contribute to national development through improving the living standard and welfare of our people.
Taking opportunity in this gathering, I would like to support and highly appreciate the feasibility study on the construction of National Road No. 67 by diverting this existing road by 2.5 km northward away from Banteay Srey temple. The new road will not only prevent the negative impact to the foundation of the ancient temples in Banteay Srey complex, but also develop the additional road network, which will facilitate those people living along in their travel, communication, job finding and doing business, as well as enhancing the capacity of road transportation, exchange of goods, expansions of agriculture and industry and improving the access to health services, effective education and income generation for the people so that they can escape from the poverty.
More importantly, National Road No. 67 will provide favorable condition and high possibility to develop our ancient temple sites and great natural forest areas in the northern of Cambodia. Meanwhile, after completing National Road No. 67, the Chaom-Sangam will become another important international border entrance for Cambodia. This road together with National Road No. 6 will play important role in fulfilling tourism potential of Siem Reap and Odor Meanchey provinces, which are the Cambodia’s historical land of the Angkor Era and full of valuable treasures and marvelous ancient temples such as the Angkor Wat, Bayon and Banteay Srey temples. This provide a good opportunity for the county to generate more revenues as the National Road No. 67 will facilitate a large, fast and cheap transportation of goods and tourists. This will offer a good chance to our people to transport and exchange their products in the local and Thai markets.
The civil war which lasted for more than three decades in Cambodia along with Kampuchea Democratic Regime had destroyed the foundation of social infrastructure, culture, tradition, custom, religion and belief down to the ground.
After January 7, 1979, even though the whole country and Cambodian people were freed from genocidal regime, the war still remained for many years. Since then, we have embarked on gradually rebuilding the country in a very difficult situation with very limited available resources. Along with the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the country from nothing and the devastation of socio-economic infrastructure, we have to defend and prevent our nation against returning of the genocidal regime. Moreover, our mission then was undertaken during the economic sanction and development assistance embargo from foreign countries. Although after the Paris Peace Agreement in 1991 and the National Election organized and sponsored by the United Nation in 1993, internal conflicts and Khmer Rouge problems still persist. Indeed, only by 1998 we can proudly say that Cambodia was completely liberated from war and achieved full peace throughout the country.
I wish to take this auspicious opportunity to express sincere thanks to the contribution made by Cambodian people and local authorities in this region in implementing the “Win – Win” policy of the Royal Government to end the war without defeaters. In this regard, we all have united into one nation and turn the area into a peaceful place, the area that contribute tremendously to economic growth because this place is an upland area with rich national resources and fertile soil for agricultural cultivation; and a good landscape with ancient legacy and world heritage which can attract many local and foreign visitors.
Indeed, the tremendous benefits from transportation infrastructure will make our hope come true as old saying “having road means having hope”. In this regards, the government still maintain its strong willingness to continue and overcome obstacles and challenges in developing the nation in all sectors. In particular, authorities still gives high priority to rehabilitate and build roads, bridges, railways, water and air ways and ports to link rural area to cities and other historical heritage complex as well as to connect with neighboring countries’ transportation networks to integrate Cambodia’s society and economy into the region and the world, aiming at creating a favorable environment and good cooperation in business, investment and employment to alleviate poverty and increase understanding and knowledge and enhance better social welfare for Cambodian people.
Meanwhile, I would like to compliment and encourage all concerned ministries, local authority and the people living along the roads who closely has cooperated since the start of the feasibility study to the completion of National Road No. 67. At the same time, I would like to express my appreciation and profound thanks to Your Excellencies, Ladies, Gentlemen, civil servants and technicians of Thailand Highway Department for their support in speeding up the feasibility study on the construction project of National Road No. 67 and who are working as technical consultants for the construction of a 18 km long road from Chaom-Sangam to Anlong Veng. I would like to congratulate the Chor Kanchang Company that has been contracted out to further construct the National Road No. 67, under technical control of the TEAM Consulting Engineering and Management Co., Ltd, and to implement the project with high technical quality on time or perhaps ahead of schedule to effectively facilitate the traffic and transportation.
More importantly, I would like to advice the Ministry of Public Work and Transportation and all authorities to take strict measures against heavy-loading vehicles. At the same time, I appeal to our compatriots for their contribution to maintain and prevent this economic potential road from rapid damage.
Finally, I would like to wish Your Venerable Buddhist Monks, Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen, and our compatriots with the Five Gems of Buddhist Blessings.
May I now announce the official use of the 18 km long road from Chaom-Sangam to Anlong Veng and the opening of the construction site for a 131 km long road of National Road No. 67 by using the Double Bituminous Surface Treatment (DBST) from Anlong Veng to National Road 6.