TAKEO (XINHUA) - Cambodia on Wednesday (March 2) inaugurated the China-funded National Road No. 3, which links its capital Phnom Penh and the southwestern coastal province of Kampot.
The 134.8km road stretches from Chom Chao roundabout in the capital's western suburb to Kampot, running through Kandal, Kampong Speu and Takeo provinces.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian presided over the inauguration ceremony, which was attended by nearly 1,000 people.
Speaking at the event, Hun Sen said the road is crucial to boost economic and tourism development and that Kampot is the only province that produces salt for the kingdom.
"This is another testament to the fruitful cooperation between Cambodia and China under the frameworks of the comprehensive strategic partnership, the ironclad friendship, and the community with a shared future between the two countries," he said.
"I hope that our people will benefit from this road, which connects between our capital city and coastal province," he added.
The road was built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation at the cost of about US$215 million (S$292 million), which was the preferential buyer's credit loan from the government of China. It took 34 months to be completed.
Hun Sen praised the contractor for completing the project 14 months earlier than scheduled and thanked it for building the road in good compliance with technical standards.
Ambassador Wang said the National Road No. 3 is a key transportation artery connecting Phnom Penh and the coastal province of Kampot, expressing his belief that the road will play a crucial role in boosting economy and tourism as well as improving the livelihoods of people living along the route.
"The inauguration ceremony truly reflects the strong momentum and fruitful results of China-Cambodia pragmatic cooperation," he said.
He added that although the Covid-19 pandemic has seriously impacted the flow of people and logistics, some major projects of bilateral cooperation have withstood the pressure of the pandemic and have been successfully completed as planned with high quality.