Cambodia starts to upgrade national road in SE province with funds from China
KAMPONG CHAM, Cambodia, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Monday broke ground for the expansion and upgrading of National Road 7 here with funds from China in order to cope with rising traffic flows and cargo transport.
The 45.48-km road, stretching from the Skun Market roundabout to the Kizuna Bridge roundabout in Kampong Cham town, will be upgraded and expanded from two to four lanes.
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian presided over the groundbreaking ceremony, which was attended by thousands of local people.
Hun Sen said the road is an important economic artery as it is interconnected with other key roads in its neighboring provinces and is also part of the ASEAN Highway 11.
"The expansion and upgrading of the road are crucial to reduce traffic jams, facilitate travel and transportation of agricultural and agro-industrial products, and promote the development of socioeconomic activities in Kampong Cham and its neighboring provinces," he said.
Hun Sen said the project was another fruit of close cooperation between Cambodia and China in 2023, which is the Cambodia-China Friendship Year and the year marking the 65th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
"I would like to thank China for having provided a great amount of aid to Cambodia for the development of roads, bridges, irrigation system, and electricity, among others, which have greatly contributed to the country's development," he said.
Ambassador Wang said the project was another important achievement of China-Cambodia pragmatic cooperation in the new year.
"Over the years, China has helped Cambodia build power stations, roads, bridges, and hospitals, among others," he said. "These achievements are the fruits of China-Cambodia friendship and have provided a lot of benefits to the people of Cambodia."
According to the Cambodian Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the road is being developed by China Road and Bridge Corporation under a loan from China. The project is expected to take 40 months to complete.
Eng Sokhon, a 38-year-old soft drink seller along National Road 7, said the project will not only reduce traffic jams, but also facilitate the transport of goods from farms to markets.
"Currently, it's difficult to travel when we are in a hurry because the road is very narrow," she told Xinhua.
"I feel happy because when the road is widened, it will be easy to travel to and fro, and we will be able to transport rice, vegetables, fish, and meat from farms to markets easily," she added.
Sorn Sitha, a 39-year-old resident along National Road 7, said he has seen a lot of China-aided projects in Cambodia, such as roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals, among others, saying that those projects have greatly contributed to Cambodia's socioeconomic development and poverty reduction.
"I hope that when this road is already built, it will be easy to travel and transport agricultural products from farms to markets," he told Xinhua.