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Mekong action plan wins official approval

Mekong action plan wins official approval

Da Nang, Vietnam
ESSENTIAL Cambodian road projects could be kick-started by the signing of a US$5.9 billion action plan for countries in the Mekong Delta.

The path to construction was cleared after Mekong and Japanese economic ministers approved the Mekong-Japan Economic and Industrial Cooperation Initiative Action Plan yesterday.

The talks were attended by Masayuki Naoshima, Japan’s minister of economy, trade and industry, and ministers from Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.

According to a press release issued yesterday after the Mekong-Japan Economic Ministers’ meeting in Da Nang, the plan covers the development of physical infrastructure, trade facilitation, help for small and medium-sized enterprises, and moves to stimulate service and industrial sectors in five Mekong countries: Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.

It will be submitted for adoption by Mekong-Japan leaders at a forthcoming summit to be held in Hanoi this October.

Cambodia’s Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh said yesterday that Cambodia and Laos may get the most financing for infrastructure development.

“When the Mekong-Japan leaders adopt it in October, each country will begin to implement [the plan],” he said.

“It may be Cambodia and Laos will be able to get the most funds from the assistance if we have prepared and implemented good plans.”

Cham Prasidh said that Cambodia needs to accelerate the construction of the Neak Leung Bridge, further expand National Road 1 from Phnom Penh to Vietnam and National Road 5 from Phnom Penh to Thailand, and explore the development of a ring road around the capital city.

The MJ-CI action plan will be implemented under the official development aid assistance of $5.9 billion pledged by Japan last November.

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