The Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway will be formally inaugurated on a three-day state visit by Chinese premier Li Keqiang, who will be in Cambodia from November 8-11, according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The visit is at the invitation of Prime Minister Hun Sen. During his visit, Li will also be granted a royal audience by King Norodom Sihamoni at the Royal Palace.

The press release states that Li will be meeting with Hun Sen at the Peace Palace to discuss various aspects of the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between the two countries as well as some regional and international issues of common concern.

Both leaders will preside over the ceremonial inauguration of the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway at the conclusion of their meeting. The expressway has been open to drivers since October 1. It cuts the drive time between the capital and Sihanoukville down to just two hours.

The Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway cost more than two billion dollars and was built by the China Bridge and Road Corporation (CRBC) through the Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd.

The 187-km road connects Samrong Krom commune in Por Senchey district of Phnom Penh to Village I of Commune III in Sihanoukville.

The one-month free trial period in October saw nearly 440,000 vehicles use the road. The operating company began charging tolls on November 1, but they will be at a 20 per cent discount until October 31, 2023.

The press release announced that Li will also visit Siem Reap province where he will observe the progress made by the Chinese team working on restoring Takeo temple along with Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara.