Work Begins on 2nd Chinese-invested Expressway in Cambodia

This aerial photo taken on June 5, 2023 shows the construction site of Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway, the kingdom's second Chinese-invested expressway, in Kandal province, Cambodia. Photo by Ly Lay/Xinhua

KANDAL, Cambodia -- Cambodia on Wednesday broke ground on the second Chinese-invested expressway connecting the capital Phnom Penh with Bavet City of Svay Rieng province on the border with Vietnam.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian presided over the ceremony here, which was attended by some 5,000 people.

Invested by the China Road and Bridge Corporation in the amount of 1.3 billion U.S. dollars, the 135.1 km expressway project will be developed in the form of BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) with an operational period of 50 years.

The four-lane freeway project is expected to be completed in four years.

Speaking at the event, Hun Sen said expressways play a crucial role in boosting economic growth and tourism development, expressing his thanks to China for investing in freeways in the Southeast Asian nation.

"The Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway is another fruit of cooperation between Cambodia and China under the Belt and Road Initiative," he said. "This expressway will give a boost to the growth of investment, trade, tourism and cross-border transportation between Cambodia and Vietnam."

The Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway will also be a prime driver of economic growth for Cambodia, Hun Sen said, adding that traveling on expressways saves both time and money.

Wang said 2023 marked the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Cambodia and the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative.

This Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway project is not only a symbol of friendship and cooperation between China and Cambodia, but also a result of well alignment between the initiative and Cambodia's rectangular strategy, he said.

The China Road and Bridge Corporation is also the developer of the 187 km Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which has been put into use since October last year. 

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