Address at the “Inauguration of the National Road No. 67” Stretching over 131 Kilometers from Anlung Veng to Siem Reap Financed by a Loan from the Royal Government of Thailand
July 4th, 2009
Your Venerable Monks,
Your Excellency Suthep Thaugsuban, Deputy Prime Minister and Representative of the Royal Government of Thailand,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, it is my great pleasure to meet all the compatriots here in the “Inauguration of the National Road No. 67” stretching over 131 kilometers from Anlung Veng to Siem Reap, with junction roads to Kulen Mountain and Banteaysrey Temple. On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to congratulate Your Venerable Monks and all compatriots living in and around this area who will benefit from this road. This road indeed will relieve the people’s hardship, facilitate daily business activities and bring about countless benefits to Cambodia as a whole.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to show my appreciation to the management and officials of the Ministry of Public Work and Transport, related institutions, especially the Ministry of Economy and Finance, all levels of competent authorities and armed forces, and the construction and consulting firms for their joint efforts to rebuild the National Road No. 67 from Anlung Veng to Bakong Temple in Siem Reap.
In general, this accomplishment reflects our steady progress towards rebuilding the transport infrastructure as stipulated in the Royal Government’s Rectangular Strategy-Phase II which regards the transport network as “the engine of growth” and veins interlinking all parts of Cambodia to form an economic organism to accelerate its integration both internally and externally into regional and global economic blocs. This road links our internal transport network with neighboring countries’ to make our transport service more convenient, more stable, safer, more economically efficient, and at low-cost, to facilitate trade, promote tourism sector, accelerate rural development and integration into the regional economy and to serve the purpose of national defense.
So far, the Royal Government has always prioritized economic development, especially during the global financial and economic crises. Along with this, the Royal Government is doing its utmost to ensure peace and political stability that are keys to development, growth, and poverty reduction. In particular, building transport network is deemed to strengthen the socio-economic’s backbone. Through this, we will continue to build our road networks to interlink the capital, provinces, municipalities, districts, communes and villages together to form a vibrant economic organism in order to realize our development targets.
In particular, the Royal Government over recent years has built roads and bridges to catalyze economic recovery, overcome constraints during the global economic downturn, and take part in sustainable development. I have often raised that wherever there is Road there will be Hope and trade transactions, production, artisanal work, services will boom. This vibrancy indicates that the body and social veins are working and acting as the breathing path for economic growth. Also, people can travel and exchange products and services which in turn will boost the social sector. Internal and regional facilitation of trade and transport are the prerequisites to attracting more investment into Cambodia.
Partly, the Royal Government has set this sphere as an important tourism pole of the country. So far, this area has been gradually developed from being a war front line during decades of civil war to be a tourism site and center for agriculture, production, trade through building various supporting infrastructures, especially the construction of the national road No.67, which is linked from the Angkor–Banteay Srey to another historical and tourism site, the district of Anlong Veng of Uddor Meanchey Province, which is the last military base of the Khmer Rouge leaders Pol Pot and Tamok. Along with that, the Royal Government has completed the reconstruction of the national road No. 6 from Phnom Pen to Siem Reap in 2006 by using the joint budget of JICA, Asian Development Bank and World Bank and in the year 2009 we are finalizing the partial block of the national road No. 6 and No. 5 from Siem Reap-Sereisophorn to Poi Pet town of Cambodian-Thai border, which is scheduled to be officially inaugurated soon. As for the area of Siem Reap town and at the Angkor site, a lot of new roads have been built in order to facilitate the transportation, trade and tourism in the area. These infrastructure networks are our joint achievements and bright success. These achievements stem from the “Win-Win” policy and this policy has enabled us to receive bright peace throughout the country and enabled us to internally integrate ourselves fully, in which there was the integration of Khmer Rouge soldiers into the national fold, internal integration, and regional integration with equity and equal rights with other countries in the region and the world.
Based on the report by H.E. Tram Iv Tek, Minister of Public Works and Transports, this geographical location is both a natural forest area and lower land linked to Tonle Sap lake and this area is also fertile, favorable for farming and plantation. On the other hand, this area is also rich in cultural, historical sacred or worship site and many traditional temples, built by our ancestors as perfect heritage for the young generation descendents and currently these areas have become a significant base for tourism development. In this aspect, we have seen that these areas already have natural and historical potential to serve the tourism sector by simply increasing more supporting infrastructures. Through this, in order to truly make this area into the tourism pole of Cambodia in the future, the reconstruction of the national road No. 68 with the length of 113 km from Kralagn-Samrong-Osmach at the Cambodian-Thai border, is seeking for a new loan which will contribute to additionally support the achievement on the national road No. 67.
In this sense, I believe that the successful solution to the supporting infrastructure issues will provide these localities with tremendous potential in further expanding the basis of production, agriculture, trade and tourism. In addition, the infrastructure network will help us accomplish our long-term vision, which is to ensure socio-economic efficiency and is binding with the national defense strategy trough “Transforming the border areas into industrial, production and tourism zones and changing the ex-war fields into development sites”. Indeed, the Royal Government has turned this vision into real actions by transforming the border areas into industrial zones such as Bavet in Svayreang province, Phnom Din in Takoe province, Chamyeam in Koh Kong province, Stoenghav in Preahsihanuk province and Poypet in Banteymeanchey province so on. The vision has also transformed war zones into development sites such Chormksan, Anlongveng, Malai, Pailin, Sampoyloon and so on.
In general, physical infrastructure is the strategic priority and effective mean for reducing poverty and also the lever of economic growth and ensures fruitful distribution of equity growth to every citizen. In this sense, the Royal Government has been actively striving further, especially in rehabilitating and developing infrastructures including the restoration and construction of physical infrastructure at remote areas, aiming to promptly improve the standard of living and health and also to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of Cambodia’s socio-economic development.
Indeed, those national roads located in the sacred land of Angkor of Siem Reap province, are actually being supported by concessional loans from Thailand. In this regard, on behalf of the Royal Government and Cambodian people, I would like to express my sincere thank to development partners and friend countries, which always provide timely mental and physical support to Cambodia in order to rehabilitate and develop its socio-economy.
In this auspicious occasion, I would like to remind to all leaders of ministries, agencies and authorities at all level to closely cooperate to monitor, especially, roads-bridges, aiming to ensure that local people can use them for long time. Once again, I would like to express my sincere thank to Excellency, Lok Chum Teav, leaders, officers of the Ministry of Public Work and Transportation, ministries-agencies concerned, competent authorities, arm forces at all level, the construction companies, consulting firms and the technical monitoring companies for pooling their efforts to cooperate and accomplish the construction of National Road 67, which is being inaugurated today.
Finally, with the Official Inauguration of the National Road No. 67” Stretching over 131 Kilometers from Anlung Veng to Siem Reap, I would like to you’re your Venerable Monks, Excellency Suthep Thaugsuban, Deputy Prime Minister and representative of Thailand, Excellency, Lok Chum Teav, Ladies and gentlemen, national and international guests, officials, arm forces, students and all compatriots 4 Gems of Buddhist Blessings.