Sunday, March 13, 2011

Address at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Construction of a New Container Dock of the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port

Kandal Province, March 9, 2011

Your Venerable Monks,
Your Excellency Pan Guanxue, China’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia,
Excellencies, Senators, Members of the Parliament, and Members of the Royal Government,Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International Guests,
Dear all Compatriots!

It is my great pleasure with privilege to be here with your Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen in theopening of the construction of a new container dock of the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port, which is located in Kandal Leu Village, Banteay Dek Commune, Kien Svay District, Kandal Province and financed by a loan from the Government of the People’s Republic of China. Following my inauguration of Prek Tamak Bridge on January 24, 2011 and the opening of the construction of the National Road No. 59 from Koun Damrei - Malai - Sampovloun - Phnom Prek - Kamrieng - Pailin on February 15, 2011 organized by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, now I attend the opening of the construction site of a new container dock of the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port. Once again, I would like to kindly request H.E. Pan Guanxue to forward the deepest gratitude from the Royal Government and People of Cambodia to the Government and People of the People's Republic of China, who is a very good friend and source of finance for the reconstruction of Cambodia, especially transport infrastructure such as roads, bridges and ports. China has always been attentive to provide assistance to rebuild our prioritized sectors including economy, industry, agriculture, education, health and capacity development that are main catalysts for promoting growth and social development, creating employment and improving people's livelihood. The assistance includes the construction of irrigation systems, hydro-power plants and roads - bridges, human resource development and promotion of Chinese investment in Cambodia and so forth.

According to the report of H.E.Tram Iv Tek, the Minister of Public Works and Transport, the proposed construction area will cover an area of 6,600 meter square with 10 hectares of container dock, which include an administrative office and water and electricity network. The site is located along the Mekong River and the National Road No. 1 of Kandal Province, 30 Km east of Phnom Penh. The new container dock allows the docking of two 5000 T Ships simultaneously, with capacity of 120,000 TEUs per annum. The construction will be implemented by Shanghai Construction Group and inspected by Quangzu Vang Ang Inspection Company. The project will cost USD 28,220,000 million and take 30 months to be completed. I strongly believe the new container dock will increase the loading/unloading capacity of the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port. The new dock will become a main hub for distributing goods across the country that can push the internal integration, international trade and regional trade a step further, especially to realize our rice export target of 1 million metric tons per annum.

Transport is crucial for economic development, trade, global integration, especially access to global market. Among all transport means, waterway transport is the cheapest. In this sense, I think water ports link dry ports, airports and train stations to the region and the world. Water ports have played an important role in the development of the global economy by partly promoting regional integration through the expansion of market access and establishment of free trade areas

The Royal Government, so far, has always regarded the construction of infrastructure including the economic infrastructuresuch as roads, bridges, irrigation, port ...etc and social infrastructure such as education and health ...etc, as the righteous option with high priority and the catalyst to upgrade the economic dynamism with high growth. Normally, the Royal Government has spent substantial amount of money for the investment on economic infrastructures. Along with that, the Royal Government has played a critical role to be a strategist, designing the policies to encourage and follow up the social infrastructure development that private sector can do it. The Royal Government realizes that this economic infrastructure development has provided three main benefits which are (1) to enable the people to be able to utilize infrastructure, which is the public goods of the state (2) the huge spending on the building of infrastructure makes the gross requirement increase and accelerate the pace of development and (3)the infrastructure provides inputs and possibility to the private sector in promoting production.

Based on this perspective, the Royal Government has paid high attention to the construction of port infrastructures either sea port or river port for the interest as mentioned above as well as to promote export, especially when Cambodia is improving its competitive advantage in the regional and global markets.

It should be noted that since 1952, the activities of the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port have not been so much busy. Therefore, although there is on-going development today, this port has not responded to the need of water transportation as well as meeting the increase of container capacity. However, today the Phnom Penh Municipality is becoming larger because of the fact that huge buildings and constructions have been constructed according to the requirement of construction materials and the increasing quantity of the containers and cars and transportation activities have made the traffic more congested, especially in the capital city on the road of transporting, collecting and distributing of Phnom Penh Port. These factors will not allow the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port to enlarge its operation on the existing location at the Chruoy Changva, which is in the heart of the capital city and is also surrounded by buildings. Therefore, we have to select the new location for the construction of this new port in Kien Svay in order to contribute to improving capability of the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port for receiving the increasing containers and diverting the traffic congestion in the Capital City of Phnom Penh. Moreover, the connection of this new port with the water transportation along the Mekong to the sea can actually reduce the cost of petrol, cheap cost and more economically cost effective and efficient. Thus, the water transportation is the best and most effective mean to ensure the low cost and transportation of goods, which are of high quantity to reach the far-reaching destinations, and contribute to the reduction of Carbon Dioxide and Green House Gas, which is the source of global warming. At the same time, this kind of transportation will also help the Royal Government in reducing cost on road maintenance which have been broken because of the overweight transportation activities as well as contributing to reducing the land traffic accidents.

I realize that this newly built port facility at the new location means that all sectors are developed due to jobs and new business activities will be created for people, who live around the port and those who are required to provide services for vessels and port. Moreover, new port facility development will help increase Cambodia’s domestic and external trade activities as port is a place for transferring and storing and distributing items to all places within the country, exchanging trade in the region and the globe as well as collecting large part of budget revenue for the nation and contributing to ultimate poverty reduction.

Our Phnom Penh Autonomous Port is a river port which is linked to the lower Mekong of southern Vietnam. Under China’s financing loan scheme for the river port construction, Cambodia will have better port system along the Mekong River to provide waterway transportation service from the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port to the Kai Mep Port, which is deeper sea and international port, directly linking to international markets.

I strongly believe that port facility development and container dock along the Mekong River will accelerate economic growth, create economic opportunity and new transportation channel to southern Chinese sea.

In the next 30 months, we will have new container dock under the authority of the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port to meet highly demanded services of our nation. On behalf of the Royal Government, I would like to express my appreciation to the management and officials of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, in particular officials and workers of the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, related Ministries/Institution and the Authority of Kandal Province, who have work very hard to realize the construction of this new port. The Royal Government remain persistently stick to its will to encourage and give high priority to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of economic infrastructures such as roads, bridges, railway, waterway and airway transport and port facility to better improve internal socio-economic integration as well as regional and global integration, aiming to create closer cooperation and good environment for trade, investment, private sector development, more employment generation to contribute to promoting economic growth, reducing poverty, enhancing social welfare for our citizens.

At the same time, I would like to congratulate the two Chinese companies – Construction Shanghai Group, which implements the construction project and Guangzhou Wan An Company, which controls construction techniques, for implementing other road and bridges construction projects in Cambodia. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my high appreciation and encouragement to the two companies for their continued efforts to implement their respective projects in the construction of the New Phnom Penh Autonomous Port as projected with high quality assurance.

Along with that, I would like to remind our people, who live and travel along the road, to seriously take care of your traveling while travelling along good roads and bridges, in particular along the National Road No.1 which is almost finished its construction project being conformed to regional standard. I would also like to recall our compatriots to not drive over speed of 90 km/hour and of at least 40 km/hour in the town and avoid outdistancing in order to prevent from any unexpected traffic accidents, which may cause loss of human lives or serious injuries. Along with that, transport companies have to take highly moral responsibility as well as to strictly obey traffic law in order to stop overweight load to avoid damaging our newly constructed roads.

In conclusion, I would like to wish the Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests, Civil Servants, Teachers, and Students, especially H.E. Chinese Ambassador and His Colleagues, Experts and Technicians, who have been commissioned to work in the Kingdom of Cambodia, the four gems of Buddhist blessing:Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.

May I now declare the Opening of the Construction of the New Container Dock of the Phnom Penh Autonomous Portlocated at Kandal Leu, Bontey Dek Commune, Kien Svay District of Kandal Province!

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