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Cambodia Attends China Belt & Road Virtual Summit

Phnom Penh: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Prak Sokhonn, is attending the “Asia-Pacific High-Level Conference on Belt and Road Cooperation”. Under the theme “Promoting Cooperation on Combating the Pandemic for Sustainable Recovery”, the summit was held virtually on Wednesday. Hosted by China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, the summit focused on strengthening collective efforts in combating the pandemic, while looking ahead to a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery for the region.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Prak Sokhonn joins his counterparts from across the Asia-Pacific region, all with a stake in China’s Belt and Road initiative. According to his office, the Deputy Prime Minister’s keynote address focuses on several issues, including promoting open and inclusive multi-lateralism, promoting partnerships and international cooperation, encouraging equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines around the world and working towards a post-pandemic recovery that is sustainable.

China’s Belt & Road initiave will be playing a key role in that recovery. One example of that in Cambodia is National Road 3, which is almost 100% complete. The 135km dual carriageway links Phnom Penh’s Chom Chao roundabout with Kampot. Transport Minister Mr. Sun Chanthol, led an inspection of the highway on Tuesday.

Construction is being carried out by the China Road and Bridge Corporation, the same group responsible for the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which is over 55% complete. National Road 3 has taken almost four years to construct, with a total budget of just over $2-billion, financed by the Royal Government of Cambodia, together with a concessional loan from China. Like the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, the new National Road 3 is expected to be a huge boost for tourism and logistics, dramatically reducing travel time and transport costs between the capital and the popular coastal town.

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