Sunday, May 22, 2011

Address at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Construction

Address at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Construction of the 95.25 KM National Road No. 41, Starting from the National Road No. 4 at Thnol Torteng, Kampong Speu Province to Chum Kiri District, Kampot Province

May 18, 2011

Venerable Monks,
Your Excellency Pan Guang Xue, China's Ambassador to Kingdom of Cambodia,
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen distinguished national and international Guest,
Dear the compatriots,

Today, I am pleased to be with H.E. Pan Guang Xue again to open the “Construction Site of the National Road No. 41” from Thnol Torteng to Chum Kiri District, following the opening of the construction site of the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port at Banteay Dek Commune, Kean Svay District, Kandal Province on March 9, 2011. Along with this, I convey my warmest welcome to Excellencies, Oknhas, ladies and gentlemen distinguished national and international guests, students and all the compatriots who attend this joyous event.

First of all, on behalf of the people and Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to convey my deepest gratitude to the people and Government of the People’s Republic of China that has provided all kinds of support to develop Cambodia’s physical infrastructure and human resources, especially the development of roads and bridges. Taking this opportunity, I again and again would like to politely request H.E. Pan Guang Xue to forward the deepest gratitude from the people and Royal Government of Cambodia to the people and Government of the People’s Republic of China which is Cambodia’s historic friend and presently one of the most important development partners. China has indeed provided grants and concessional loans without lengthy conditions while Cambodia is in need of rebuilding all sectors, especially transport and human resources. In short, since 2004, China has provided total concessional loans of USD 814 million to Cambodia to rebuild the transport sector which can be translated to 1,472 Kilometeres of roads and 3 long bridges including Sekong Bridge, Prek Kdam Bridge and Prek Tamak Bridge. Moreover, in the near future, the Government of China will provide funding for the construction of Takmao Bridge and New Chroy Changvar Bridge that will become physical infrastructure assets in promoting growth and household income. This support is crucial to the Royal Government’s effort in promoting economic growth and social development, especially when Cambodia is in need of rebuilding the nation following decades of civil war. The development of physical infrastructure aims at providing public services to the people and maximizing public interest and can be regarded as “ locomotive of growth” as well as a matter of life and death for Cambodia. Therefore, Cambodia will always remember and record China’s great deeds in its history.

Along with this, I would also like to commend the management and all levels of officials of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, related ministries and institutions, local authorities and Chinese companies that have worked hard to finish the feasibility study phase and open the construction site at this moment. This new achievement not only improves the people’s standard of living and internal integration but also revitalizes Khmer ancestors’s effort of linking ancient Udong City to coastal zone. According to our history, this was a strategically important road. It not only connected Udong City to coastal zone in Kampot Province for trade exchange with the outside world but also acted as a connection channel with French and other European merchant vessels when the then Khmer required assistance from France to salvage the country from Siameses.

Along with this moment, I would like to congratulate all the compatriots who live and will travel in this area on the achievement of a new road which is a response to your urgent needs and will be operative in the short future.

As H.E Tram Iv Tek, Minister of Public Works and Transport has raised in his report that the national road no. 41 is a new road network that will reduce time to travel or to exchange goods between Phnom Penh and Kampot, or from national road no. 5 to Kampot without passing through Phnom Penh, because this national road links cross-section of national road no. 4 at Tnol Torteng to national road no. 3 at Chumkiri district, Kampot Province. This national road 41 will be constructed according to the road standard level 3 of construction design plan of People Republic of China, the road will be paved with two layers, that is double bituminous surface treatment, with planned budget amounts 46.250.000 US dollars (fourty six millions, two hundred fifty thousand US dollars) and government counterpart budget. The construction will takes 40s months and will be completed in 2014. Indeed, technical study had been done rigorously, comprehensively and deeply including social and environmental impact assessment aiming at ensuring that the road is beneficial and fulfilling longterm traffic condition in line with social evolution. In this sense, I strongly hope that construction of this road will enhance efficiency of vein that feeds and supports Cambodian economy and society to another level, being able to accommodate regional huge transport and freight volume that can bring new national interest, create of a lot of new employment and opportunities for the people as well as to improve and promote education and social welfare.

In short, we can see direct benefits from this new road as such contribution to reduction in poverty and transportation cost, cutting travelling time, and easing people travel nation-wide and regional transportation from national road no. 5 where transportation from Cambodia-Thailand border concentrates. On the other hand, because Kampot is costal area, linking to Kep province, linking to Bokor that is Cambodia’s magnificent ecological tourist site, the national road 41 will facilitate tourism flow as well. Moreover, Kampot is a region potential of agriculture and industrial development, especially famous cement and salt, as well fertile land for planting pepper, rambutan and durian and other sea products that answers demand of Cambodian people, and development of these sectors will rely on this road like we asserted that having road is having everything, road will bring prosperity, like Chinese proverb puts “if you want do successful business, build road first” and Cambodian slogan says “having road is having hope”. Obviously, this national road 41 will accelerate implementation of key strategies for development of costal sea corridor area that international development partners had studied and taken as base in conformity to national development plan of the Royal Government of Cambodia, with main goals to integrate and link every domestic areas, particularly linking remote area to the populated ones, and facilitate integration with neighboring countries in the region for the cause of economies, trade and cooperation with objectives to maintain peace, security and regional and domestic development. Separately, this road reminds us of history of maintaining sovereignty, land integrity, national prestige, and fulfilling dream and hope of people living along this road namely Kampongspeu, Kandal, Takeo and Kampot. At the same time, this road revitalizes wish of Khmer King during Ang Duong era for which His Majesty have paved this way and name it Preah Ang Duong Road. Later then, this road was severely destroyed during war time. So far, journey passing this road was very difficult, particularly during rainy season, because links are under severe damage and unpassable. Having seen that people still use this road, I ordered military civil engineers to pave laterite and replace wooden bridge with metal ones. Fortunately, later we have very close development partners i.e. People Republic of China who has provided credit timely to reconstruct and improve efficiency of this national road 41 with high standard by DBST and widening width of the road for better access, to make it conducive to business and help promote trade and economic activities along costal corridor which is beneficial to our people.

In highly prideful spirit for achievements that we has been building by active efforts by the leadership and technical officials of ministries-institutions and local authorities as well as cooperation from development partners, especially great friend China, reconstruction, construction and development and maintenance of road bridges nation-wide remain constantly active to succeed in reducing hardship and poverty of the people. A line with development of all sectors and optimism about bright future of Cambodia, I would like to appeal to all leadership and technical officials of ministries-institutions, all levels of local authorities, and separately leadership and technical officials of ministry of public works and transport must continue cooperating to work further in order to promote development and maintenance of transportation network to ensure traffic continuity at everywhere, near and far nation-wide, connecting to neighboring countries and the region.

At the same time, the contribution and support from all compatriots are the neccessary factors that cannot be absent in promoting the process of constructing, improving and maintaining roads, in which you have to be tolerant with the settlement that has impact on land and accomodation and you have to respect the use of road pavement and the traffic law, which is the major challenge, aiming to reduce mortality caused by traffic accidents as planned in order to secure the safety of property and human lives.

In this spirit, I would like to remind our compatriots once again to be more careful with driving by following the speed limit, wearing helmet and seatbelt, and by not drinking alcohol if driving, and especially prevent the overweight transportation, which is the root cause of destroying bridges-roads.

At the same time, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government and people of development partners and various international agencies, who have always provided credits for the restoration and development of Cambodia in all sectors. I would like to express appreciation and encourage the management and officials of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, local authotity and all related institutions, who have been trying their utmost to cooperate in actively implementing the construction of bridges-roads through out the country.

In particular, I would like to congratulate and encourage the China Road and Bridge Corporation that has been successful in bidding for construction project implementation, and the Guangzhou Wanan Construction Supervision that has to be in charge of construction technicality. Please be informed that Cambodian people have put strong hope on the two companies in implemening their respective duties on the the construction of national road No.41 to be completed as planned or before the schedule with high quality standard.

At the end, together with the inauguration of the “Construction of Road No.41 from the corner of National Road No.4 at Thnorl Totoeng to Chum Kiri” now, I would like to wish the venerable monks, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished national and international guests, civil servants, teachers and students and all compatriots the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.

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