Prime Minister Hun Sen said Covid-19 will not hinder Cambodia’s development, as the government could dip into national budget funds to develop infrastructure in the provinces, solve current problems, and spur post-Covid-19 economic growth.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction and improvement of 38 roads in Siem Reap province on November 30, Hun Sen said the capital, Siem Reap and Preah Sihanouk provinces will be the economic drivers.
Siem Reap, he said, is the former capital of Cambodia and an attractive tourist destination. Roads in the province, however, are small in size and the government has pledged $150 million to rebuild and improve them.
“What we are doing in Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk and other provinces is solving present problems and get ready to move forward to spur economic growth after Covid-19.
“We still stand up to solve these problems by releasing capital,” he said.
The prime minister said if the Covid-19 situation eases, the government might think of organising an Angkor Sangkran event in 2022 to mark the completion of the road construction.
“Covid-19 cannot hinder our development, such as the development project in Preah Sihanouk province and the project here in Siem Reap,” he said.
Ministry of Public Works and Transport minister Sun Chanthol presented a report during the opening of the construction site, saying the 38 roads spanned 108.74km. The construction of the roads will cost $140 million and the construction of rain drainage and wastewater systems will cost more than $9 million.
“This project will take 13 months starting from the opening of the construction site and construction will be complete in late 2021,” he said.
Chanthol said the project played an important role in connecting the town to the suburbs and to main tourist areas and national road networks to reduce traffic accidents.
Hopefully, he said, the roads will spur transportation growth. The project will also attract investors, businesspeople and local and international tourists, he added.
An inter-ministerial working group committee is inspecting and assessing work on the project along with an inter-ministerial technical inspection team tasked with checking each construction site.