Address at the Official Inauguration of the 42.88 Km Segment of the National Road No. 1 from Korki to Neak Leung Ferry Port and the Ground Breaking of the Construction of the 9.10 Km Segment from Veal Sbov to Korki
January 5th, 2010
Your Venerable Monks,
Excellencies, Members of the Senate, Members of Parliament, and Members of the Royal Government,
Your Excellency Masafumi KUROKI, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Cambodia,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests,
Dear Compatriots, Civil Servants, Teachers and Students!
Today it is my pleasure to be here in the inauguration ceremony of the 42.88 km segment of the national road No. 1 from Korki – Kien Svay to Western Neak Leung Ferry Port and groundbreaking ceremony of the construction of segment from Veal Sbov to Korki – Kien Svay, which is financed by the grant from the Government of Japan. Taking this great opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and its people, I would like to convey my profound gratitude, through H.E. Masafumi KUROKI, to the Government of Japan, the biggest donor and development partner of Cambodia, for providing vast technical and financial support (both grants and concessional loans) continuously to help Cambodia rebuild peace and national unification and restore and develop physical infrastructure and human resources, especially international port and roads – bridges across the country to accelerate growth and poverty reduction. The Government and people of Japan have provided Cambodia with enormous grants to build major roads and bridges, including the Cambodia-Japan Friendship Bridge at Chruoy Changvar, a segment of the national road No. 6 from Roluos to Siem Reap, national roads No. 6A and No. 7 ending at Thnol Torteung, especially Kizuna Bridge, the first-ever bridge crossing the Mekong River at Tonle Bet, Kampong Cham and two more bridges on the national road No. 1 which was inaugurated on December 19, 2006. During that time, the Government of Japan approved additional grants for the 3rd phase of the Phnom Penh – Neak Leung national road No. 1 development project to broaden its width to accommodate regional transport and reduce traffic jam. In the near future, it will finance the construction of Neak Leung Bridge to increase the maximum potential of the national road No. 1 to fulfill its role as a GMS Highway and Asia Highway No. 1.
The national road No. 1 from Phnom Penh to Neak Leung will be a significant contributor to Cambodia’s socio-economic development as the highway is built over the low land along the Mekong River which is flooded every year and located close to Phnom Penh, with high population density, large factories and richness of farmed plants. Given this situation, the construction of this highway and bridges do not only facilitate transport, but also act as a component of the irrigation system and address traffic problems as well as poverty issues. The elevated highway can act as a dike, while the construction of bridges along this highway also takes into account the force of water current to prevent the highway’s cut off during flooding season, in particular, the construction of bridges at Km No. 42+800 and No. 47+939 will have three strategic roles including the facilitation of regional transport, irrigation system for farmed plants along the highway, and flood gate for preventing flood on southern part of the highway and highway’s cut off, which is considered as national and international strategic network. Moreover, the draining of water up and down through this irrigation bridge also brings about the alluvial soil and fisheries resources to serve the domestic market and can also be exported to the foreign countries as well. The construction to improve National Road No.01 from Phnom Penh to Neak Leung today is the enhancement of vessel efficiency, which supports and sustains Cambodian socio-economic development to be highly competent and be able to ensure the busy transportation in the region, which can actually bring about the national budget revenue and create jobs and opportunities for Cambodian people to increase income to support the families and further improve the education and welfare. In particular, this National Road significantly contributes to release the traffic congestion, which is more serious from Phnom Penh to Vietnam-Cambodia border of Barvet and Prey Veng due to the increase of all kinds of vehicles and busy activities of the cross border trade as well as the boom of the factories and enterprises. Furthermore, the development project of the National Road No.01 from Phnom Penh to Neak Leung is the timely response to the implementation of the bilateral agreement on transportation between Cambodia and Vietnam, in which after the complete construction, this National Road will become a mean of primary potential to meet the necessary requirement in contributing to accelerate economic growth and national development as a whole through national, regional and international integration.
Realizing the significant role of the bridges and roads as mentioned above, on behalf of the Royal Government, I still set construction and development of infrastructure of land transport, sea route and railway as prioritized policy, which is to be further paid attention and most actively promoted; and the Royal Government is still committed to putting further efforts in overcoming to achieve success in implementing the Rectangular Strategy in order to speed up economic growth and social development aiming to reduce poverty of the people nation wide because bridges are hope and necessary means to promote the engine of economic growth through facilitating the traffic of transportation network. If there are good roads and bridges, people can transport to exchange products in greater quantity with good quality and cheap price to the markets. Good roads and bridges are the excellent means, which can attract investment from all circles to invest in all sectors such as industries, agriculture and tourism, which can create a lot of jobs, which is easier for the people to generate income to support their families.
In order to maintain and promote high pride and efficiency of achievements that we jointly hard earned and having firm optimism about bright Cambodian future, I would like to appeal to the members of the Royal Government, local authorities of all levels, and the management and officials of Ministry of Public Works and Transport to further cooperate in fulfilling duties to link and maintain transportation network with sustainability nation-wide and at all regions, near and far, and to connect to neighboring countries. At the same time, contribution, support and comprehension of the people, particularly for solution for resettlement impact which is indispensible factor for promotion of construction and maintenance of road-bridge and to ensure productivity, quality and safety of transportation in order to promote national and private economic growth as well as to maintain state and private property, especially lives of our people by increasing participation to maintain road-bridge. On behalf of the Royal Government, I would like to request that when you drive happily on nice road, please pay great attention to two important things (1) prevent overweight freighting which severely and quickly damage road-bridge that we hard constructed (2) strictly obey traffic code in order to reduce possibility of traffic accident which trigger tragedy and social burden due to loss of lives or disability of supportive person or our beloved.
Along with that, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia, I would like to convey gratitude to all government and people of friend countries and development partners, especially Japan, for constantly providing all kinds of supports, including encouragement, materials and fund for the cause of national solidarity, rehabilitation, and socio-economic development of Cambodia through improvement and construction of transport infrastructure which is key to economic growth and poverty reduction of Cambodian people.
I would like to congratulate and admire effort made by Katahira Company of Japan for technical inspection and Obayashi Company who is project implementer with quality and high international standard. Also, I would like to congratulate Daiho Corporation and Ly Chhuong Construction Import Export who are to undertake construction of National Road No. 1 Phase 3 for which I strongly believe that Daiho Corporation will construct this road timely with quality like Siem Reap- Roluos link and technical inspecting company, Katahira , will act as an efficient technical consultant.
At the end, I would like to wish venerable monks, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, national and international guests, government officials, teachers, students the 4 gems of Buddhist blessings; Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength. May I declare the Inauguration of partial link of National Road No. 1 stretching over 42.77 kilometers from the west of Neak Leung ferry port and the Opening of Construction Site linking from Korki to Veal Sbov!