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Thai gov’t to grant loans to develop transnational road network

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Cambodia will receive some $39.78 million to build a 131km stretch of road to Thailand via Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey provinces. Heng Chivoan

Thai gov’t to grant loans to develop transnational road network

Thailand is to loan Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos some $281.6 million next year for the construction of four transnational roads under the Asean Connectivity Initiative, the Bangkok Post reported on Monday.

The Kingdom will receive some $39.78 million to build a 131km stretch of road to Thailand via Siem Reap province and Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district, the newspaper reported.

The Council of Ministers of Thailand, according to the report, will be asked to approve the infrastructure development projects.

“The interest rate for each road project is fixed at only 0.1 per cent,” said Perames Vudthitornetiraks, head of Thailand’s Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency.

Bangkok aimed for the projects to help develop the Greater Mekong Subregion, he added.

The Bangkok Post reported: “Observers say the fast-growing economies of Myanmar and Cambodia are not burdened with huge debts and should suit such an initiative. ”

Siem Reap-Oddar Meanchey Chamber of Commerce president Huy Pheav told The Post on Tuesday that the new road would further strengthen cooperation between the two countries – especially in promoting trade and business.

Pheav said Cambodian exports to Thailand mostly consisted of agricultural products such as mango, rice, corn, cassava and soybean, while the Kingdom imported machinery, electronic equipment, oil, construction materials, cosmetics and home appliances from its neighbour.

“The transnational road project will boost [Cambodia’s] agricultural exports to Thailand and will benefit economic growth,” Pheav said.

Cambodia and Thailand have on several occasions pledged to increase bilateral trade by next year to $15 billion per annum.

Bilateral trade volume between the countries last year reached some $8.3 billion, according to the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh annual’s Thai-Cambodian Business Report.

The report also showed that trade volume between the two countries reached some $4.2 billion in the first half of this year – up seven per cent on the same period last year.

A breakdown of the data showed that Cambodian exports to Thailand in the period amounted to $685 million, up 52 per cent, while Thai imports rose a modest one per cent, or $3.4 billion.


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