Sunday, December 27, 2009

Keynote Address at the Opening of the Construction Site of the 117 Km National Road No. 68, from Kralanh, Siem Reap to O Smach

Udor Meanchey, December 5, 2009

Your Venerable Monks,

Your Excellencies, Ambassadors of Friend Countries to the Kingdom of Cambodia,

Your Excellencies, Oknhas, Ladies and Gentlemen Distinguished National and International Guests,

Dear Compatriots!

Today, it is my pleasure to be here with Your Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Oknhas, ladies and gentlemen distinguished national and international guests, public servants, armed forces, lecturers, students, and all the compatriots at the opening of construction site of the National Road No. 68, from Kralanh-Siem Reap to O Smach, Cambodia’s northwestern border with Thailand. The construction and restoration of this road will be fully financed by the Royal Government of Cambodia to respond to the people’s actual needs, in spite of the current global financial and economic crisis. Although this and other areas are far from the municipal Phnom Penh, the development gap has been narrowed as the Royal Government is doing its utmost to implement internal integration by constructing new physical infrastructure, especially, roads and bridges to link rural areas to cities.

Taking this joyful opportunity, I would like to congratulate all the people on the opening of this construction site, which is a Royal Government’s investment in physical infrastructure to underpin growth, promote people’s living standard, and take part in poverty reduction effort.

I have already identified this area as an economic pole, among Cambodia’s other poles, as it is favorable for agriculture and tourism development. This area is rich in temples and historic resorts for promoting growth.

As H.E. Tram Eav Toek, the Minister of Public Works and Transport, has mentioned in his report, the National Road No. 68 is an ancient road which has many direction-telling bridges that are similar to those located in Kampong Kdei, Siemreap Provice. Besides the vast rice field area, this area has fertile soil for other agri-business plants such as rubber, cassava, bean, cashew nut, sesame, tea, coffee and so on. Thus, we must build a good road network to transport goods, promote trade and tourism with the neighboring countries, as stipulated in the ACMECS framework. Moreover, this area is located on two main corridors that serve both national and international transport purpose from western to eastern part. The first corridor is the northern sub-corridor of the first southern corridor of the GMS which runs through Poipet – Siem Reap - Preah Vihear – Talabarevat - Steung Treng – Banlung – O Yadov and heads to Qy Nhon Port in Vietnam. The second corridor can runs from Poipet – Siem Reap to Phnom Penh – Bavet or Kampong Cham - Tropeang Thlong by passing the National Road No. 5, No. 6, No. 1, or No.5, No.6, No.7, No. 72 and heads to Ho Chi Minh city. Adding to this, the National Road No. 68, No.66 (formerly No.67), No.62, No. 58 all link to the above mentioned corridors. Thus, after the construction of the National Road No.68 has been completed, this area will become an important and real economic pole in Cambodia. In particular, the success construction of this road which is fully financed by the Royal Government of Cambodia will be a pride for our nation.

On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I remain firmly committed to the restoration and development of all sectors, especially the restoration, maintenance and development of transportation infrastructure which is the prioritized policy of the RGC in rapidly realizing its people poverty reduction objective, that is because “wherever there is road there will be hope”, which enable the transportation of goods to market, attracting investors and tourists, easing travel to hospitals, schools, and creating numerous employment for the people.

I would like to support and encourage the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the engineering team of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, my engineering team stationed in Siem Reap province, department of road, center for heavy machineries, department of public works and transport of Utdor Meanchey province as well the local authorities at all levels and people residing in areas affected by the project, to try their utmost to closely cooperate in boosting the renovation of this significant National Road No.68 which could connect Siem Reap with Utdor Meanchey of the northern part of Cambodia successfully with high quality, conforming to the right technical standard and as scheduled in order to accelerate the pace of socio-economic development to reduce poverty of the people faster.

Based on this viewpoint and the spirit of high pride for the achievements that we have jointly and hardly made, and in the spirit of deep optimism for the bright future of Cambodia, I would like to appeal to the members of the Royal Government, local authorities at all levels, and the management as well as civil servants of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to continue maintaining the good tradition of cooperation by trying intensively further in order to link the transportation network to all corners of the country and in the region. On the other hand, the cooperation and understanding of our people is necessary in successfully promoting the process of road and bridges construction, with long lasting quality.

At the same time, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia, I would like to thank the governments and people of friend countries and various financing agencies, who have always provided both spiritual and material supports in order to restore and develop the economy of Cambodia, especially through improving and building transport infrastructure. I would like to appreciate and continue encouraging the management and civil servants, workers, employees of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, local authorities and all related institutions, who have put greatest efforts in joining together to realize the objectives of the strategic planning as set out by the Royal Government, especially the construction of this National Road No.68.

Based on the high responsibility in helping the Royal Government to maintain achievements that we have hardly succeeded so far, I would like to remind all local authorities to constantly continue taking strict and comprehensive measures toward those vehicle owners who have always overloaded their transportation. Along with that, in any circumstance, I would like to urge the competent authorities and the people to pay high attention in obeying the traffic law by taking great care while driving, especially urging helmets wearing by 100% for the motor drivers in order to protect their lives as well as the state-owned and private properties and to avoid imposing serious costs to society because of the miseries such as poverty, disability, and ophaness, resulted from the loss of parents in traffic accidents.

Finally, with today’s inauguration of the construction and renovation site of the National Road No.68 from Kralanh of Siem Reap to O Smach of Utdor Meanchey, I would like to wish Your Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, civil servants, armed forces, and all compatriots the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.

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