China asked to fund bridges

Two more bridges are planned for the city as part of a major road redevelopment. KT/Mai Vireak

Cambodia yesterday asked China to help fund the construction of two bridges across the Mekong River, which it said would cut traffic congestion in Phnom Penh and help create a ring road around the city.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship road, which is also part of the city’s ring road, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that two additional bridges would link Kandal province to Phnom Penh.
“We lack two additional bridges to connect the city’s ring road,” he said.
“I would like to announce plans we have been studying. We  are now looking for finance for construction.
“One of the bridges will link Chroy Changvar peninsula in Phnom Penh to Svay Chrum in Kandal province, while the other will link Arey Ksat in Kandal province to Kdei Takoy [part of National Road 1 in Phnom Penh].
“Please His Excellency [Chinese ambassador Xiong Bo], take note that Cambodia is lacking two bridges which would connect the city’s ring road,” he added.
Transport Ministry spokesman Va Sim Sorya confirmed that plans for the two bridges were underway, adding that the bridges were suggested to “spur economic activity and reduce traffic jams in Phnom Penh.”
“A bridge that connects Chroy Changvar peninsula to Svay Chrum will be constructed first, followed by the other linking Arey Ksat with Kdei Takoy,” he said, stopping short of disclosing when construction was to start.
China has pumped billions of dollars into Cambodia’s economy either through grants, loans or by providing the kingdom with military aid in the form of uniforms or vehicles.
Between 2011 and 2015, The Economist reported that Chinese firms funneled nearly $5 billion in loans and investment to Cambodia.
Cambodia’s exports to China in 2015 were worth $400 million, while China’s exports to Cambodia were $3.9 million in 2015.
The prime minister also said last December that China was the largest foreign investor in Cambodia.

Source: Khmer Times

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