The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said the construction of National Road 2 and 22 is scheduled for completion by the end of March as it is now more than 90 per cent finished, while experts in the transportation sector expect the expansion of the national road infrastructure to increase transport activity and allow for smoother travel.

National Roads 2 and 22 were constructed by Korean firm Hanshin Engineering & Construction, which started work on February 11, 2020 with a budget plan of approximately $56 million under a loan from the South Korea and about $8.5 million contribution from the Cambodian government.

The road construction is divided into two parts: National Road 2, which is more than 62 km long, from the Takhmao roundabout in Kandal province’s Takhmao town – just outside the capital – to the roundabout in Donkeo town of Takeo province.

The second part is a section of National Road 22 that is nearly 10 km long from the Donkeo roundabout to Ang Tasom connecting to National Road 3. The road project passes through the capital and two provinces: Kandal and Takeo.

Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA) president Sin Chanthy said that National Road 2 and 22 are very important to the road network to link Cambodia to neighbouring countries, especially Vietnam, which already provides good infrastructure for transportation and logistics.

Chanthy said it is not only helpful to transport from private companies, but also easier and faster for farmers transporting their agricultural produce to the border, especially to the Phnom Den border crossing, to sell to Vietnamese traders, which will make that border area more active and promote the local economy.

“Actually, there are more than 20 corridors, including big and small ones, along the border of Cambodia and Vietnam. Currently we have more than 10 corridors that are busy. So, if we have national road development for convenience to make it easier and to save time, that would boost trade between the two countries,” he said.

Chea Chandara, president of the Logistics and Supply Chain Business Association in Cambodia (LOSCBA), said the two national roads have high potential for the transport sector between Cambodia and Vietnam, with faster transportation time that could attract more investment.

“In general, once we have good roads and easier travel, it is clear that the growth of cross-border trade will increase accordingly. However, it also depends on economic factors, because when Cambodia’s economic situation and the world as a whole returns to normal, it will encourage the logistics sector to grow accordingly,” he said.

According to public works ministry spokesman Heang Sotheayuth, the ministry decided to extend the deadline for the completion of National Roads 2 and 22 and allow the company to take until the end of March of this year, but the construction of these two roads have now reached 94 per cent complete and there remains just a few tasks such as installing street light poles, road signs, traffic signs and some drainage systems.

“The reason for the delay in the construction of the two national roads is due to the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, which was barring the import of necessary machinery ... as well weather factors such as the flash flooding of the Prek Tnoat River,” he said.