Cambodia has spent an estimated $3 billion constructing roads across the country spanning more than 3,000km over a period of 10 years, in addition to expressway and railway projects which are currently underway, according a five-year master plan issued by the government.
These achievements were made possible by assistance and loans from China, said Vasim Sorya, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
“According to public works minister Sun Chanthol, we have built roads in Cambodia spanning more than 3,000 km, which include 12 bridges, at a cost of an estimated $3 billion and assisted by our friend China,” he said.
On the latest expressway project, Sorya said it will connect Phnom Penh to Bavet town in Svay Rieng province and then continue on into Vietnam, while the proposed railway will run from Phnom Pen to Ho Chi Minh City. The study phase of the project has already been completed.
“We have yet to convene a meeting on this project. We have already studied it to look into the possibility of proposing it to the Chinese government,” he said.
Regarding the five-year rolling plan, Sorya said the ministry did not know yet how much it would ultimately cost, but the Phnom Penh-Bavet expressway project has an estimated cost of $2 billion.
Chanthol told reporters on June 7 that Cambodia has proposed the five-year rolling plan to China already, noting that it consists of the Battambang-Siem Reap road construction project, the Kampong Thom-Kampong Chhnang road construction project and the Phnom Penh-Bavet expressway project which continues on through the Moc Bai crossing into Vietnam.
He added that the studies of Cambodia’s modern railway project and its public transport system have been completed – such as the feasibility studies on building a metro, monorail or an automated guideway transit (AGT) system in order to reduce Phnom Penh’s traffic jams.
“Another large project is the Phnom Penh-Bavet expressway project that connects Cambodia and Vietnam as well as the Phnom Penh-Ho Chi Ming City railway project that connects Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City, which is a large project under the Belt and Road Initiative.
“We’ve also completed a feasibility study on the Tonle Bassac-Phnom Penh waterway out to the sea that could bring many benefits and reduce time and transport fees and all kinds of procedures,” he said.
Sun Chanthol said he was grateful to China for its assistance, which enables Cambodia to build infrastructure throughout the Kingdom that improves people’s lives and will help turn Cambodia into an upper-middle income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050.