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Road 5 to be Asean Road

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A good road infrastructure is important for trade with neighboring Asean countries. Wiki Commons

National Road 5 which connects Phnom Penh to the border with Thailand at Banteay Meanchey will soon be expanded to strengthen Asean’s trade connectivity between Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday assistance from the Japanese government to improve National Road 5 will enable it to become the highway that connects Asean.
Mr. Hun Sen said the expansion of National Road 5 will be in three stages. He said the first stage of the construction will be to improve the road from Battambang to Banteay Meanchey province. The second stage, Mr. Hun Sen added, will be from Kandal province’s Prek Kdam district to Pursat province and the last stage will be from Pursat to Battambang province.
Vasim Sorya, spokesman at the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, said the expanded National Road 5 will connect to National Road 1 which runs to the Vietnamese border at Prey Veng province’s Neak Loeung. The Japanese-funded 2.2-kilometer Tsubasa Bridge, across the Mekong River, links Neak Loeung to a highway that connects to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
Mr. Sorya said the first stage of the expansion of National Road 5 will start early next year and the new 400-kilometer highway will have four lanes. He added that expansion in stages two and three will be in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Mey Kalyan, senior advisor to the Supreme National Economic Council, said that the move will help boost Cambodia’s economic activities, especially in the context of regional market integration in the Asean Economic Community.
“An expanded and improved National Road 5 that links up with National Road 1 will augur well for the country. I believe that due to better road infrastructure, more investors will come to Cambodia,” said Mr. Kalyan.
He said the plan to expand National Road 5 was part of building up Asean’s southern corridor that connects Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Ngoun Meng Tech, director general of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said that good infrastructure was important for trade with neighboring countries.
“The better road infrastructure we have, the better will it be for our economy,” he said.
The expansion of National Road 5 comes as Cambodia is in the final stages to complete construction of the the 6.5-kilometer cross-border railway linking Poipet to Sisophon at the Thailand border. The 6.5-kilometer railway line, funded by the Asian Development Bank, is part of the eastern corridor of the rail link between Singapore and China’s Kunming province that will connect the whole of Asean.
Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said the rail link between Cambodia and Thailand will be good for tourism.
“After we link [railway], tourists can travel from Singapore to Malaysia, then to Thailand, and finally to Cambodia,” said Mr. Chanthol.

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