40km stretch of National Road 6A opens

40km stretch of National Road 6A opens

After 48 months of construction, the new 40km stretch of National Road No. 6A officially opened to traffic in early April.

The road connects Prek Leap commune in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district to the junction of Kompong Cham’s Batheay district. The new segment, ranging between 7 to 20 metres was financed by a USD70 million loan from China. Construction kicked off in January 2012 and was built by the Chinese Shanghai Group and monitored by the Guangzhou Wan Ann technical consultancy.

“National Road 6A is in fact one of the busiest roads in Cambodia and this section of the road connects Phnom Penh to various provinces through Kandal to the border with Thailand […],”Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen said at the grand opening of the road on 6 April, “We have decided to build up this road to help with the settlement of our people in this part of the city.”

According to the prime minister, China has financially and technically assisted various infrastructure projects across Cambodia.

These have included the Cambodian-Chinese Friendship Bridge at Prek Tamak and National Road No. 8. Following the visit of President Xi Jinping to Cambodia in 2016, China will also rebuild National Road No. 11 that links National Road No. 1, crossing National Road No. 8, through to National Road No. 7. On the other side of the Tonle Sap River, Chinese assistance has helped build National Road No. 5 and the Prek Kdam Bridge. Aside from recently inaugurated ring roads around Phnom Penh, Cambodia is also looking for assistance in building a ring road along the Cambodian border with neighbouring countries.

Having expressed his deep gratitude to this Chinese counterpart for the support, the prime minister also indicated that Cambodia is looking for Chinese help in building a road from Samlot to Koh Kong. “We are considering asking our Chinese friends for a road that runs from Samlot in Battambang, through Thmoda in Pursat to Koh Kong/Kompong Som,” he said.

The prime minister said he will attend the One Belt One Road Conference in China, a visit that observers believe will see him returning with significant aid from China to fund many infrastructure projects in the kingdom.

China earmarked USD40 billion in 2015 for the Silk Road initiative, adding additional assistance to the China-ASEAN framework from which Cambodia has been a significant beneficiary.

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