Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Railway works prime Poipet for prosperous developments

Railway works prime Poipet for prosperous developments

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The end of National Road 5 in Poipet linking to Thailand. POST STAFF

Railway works prime Poipet for prosperous developments

The train route that is set to connect Poipet to Thailand, and the government’s plan to make Poipet a commercial and industrial area, are readying this Thai-bordered city to exercise its potential.

In accordance with Thailand’s Thai +1 Policy, more Japanese investors will start to pour into the area in the future, while experts from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) continue conducting studies on the master plan for the infrastructure of the area.

Ngo Meng Chroun, governor of Poipet city in Banteay Meanchey province, said via phone on Monday that the train route from Stung Bot to Poipet, bordering Thailand, is under construction and will be finished by the end of the year.

This is the first step in anticipation of other rail connections from Thailand to different parts of Cambodia set to happen in the near future.

“After the train route connection with Thailand, businesspeople will find it easier to transport their products because trains are an easier and cheaper means of product transportation,” Chroun said, adding, “These infrastructure [developments] will attract more investors to come here. There will be more employment for the people as a result.”

In addition to currently having two industrial zones, Poipet also has 97,000 permanent residents and more than 30,000 mobile job-seekers around the area, who come from all over the Kingdom.

In the Industrial Sector Development Policy (ISDP) of 2015-2025, created by the Cambodian government at the end of last year, the cities of Poipet and Bavet are the designated zones for industrial and commercial development.

Va Simsorya, spokesman for Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said the 6.5 kilometre-long railway from Stung Bot to the border of Poipet and Thailand, along with the 10 kilometre-long railway from there to Mongkol Borey district – both of which are funded by the Asian Development Bank – are set to be finished at the end of this year.

He said it is expected for the train route from Thailand to these areas to begin in 2017 once all discussions between Cambodia and Thailand come to a consensus.

Simsorya added, “The two countries have held a discussion once, but have not come to an agreement because this train should connect Thailand [directly] to Mongkol Borey district.” He added, “This train connection with Thailand is very important because it will help reduce the cost of transportation as trains are cheaper than transportation through road vehicles.”

He also said the 60-kilometre railway connection from Mongkol Borey to Battambang province, which will cost the national budget some $30 million, is set to commence construction soon. Another railway connection from Battambang province to Phnom Penh is planned to cost another $150 million.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Construction materials being transported to Poipet by vehicular means. POST STAFF

In the ISDP, the government details a plan to construct and expand National Road 5 from Phnom Penh to Poipet with funds from the Japanese government. This road will expand two lanes on each side and a garden along the middle of the road. The first stage of construction is set to start in September or October of this year.

Heng Sok Kong, secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft, said JICA’s research on the master plan to build industrial zones in Poipet will be finished in the beginning of 2017 at the latest. The plan to finish National Road 5’s expansion has been slated for the end of 2018.

According to him, as Poipet is in proximity to Thailand, it falls under the Thai +1 Policy allowing Thai factories to connect with its neighbouring countries.

He continued, “The construction of National Road 5, Nak Leung Bridge, the increase of Japanese restaurants and Japanese vocational training schools, along with a major hospital investment in Phnom Penh, and direct flight route from Japan to Cambodia in the coming September are long-term investment strategies of the Japanese investors in Cambodia.”

Mey Kalyan, senior advisor to the Supreme Economic Council, said ASEAN countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore already have connected train routes. Poorer countries like Cambodia have been excluded due to limited funds and slower development progress.

He added, “This train connection with Thailand is an economic breadth which can facilitate commerce by attracting investors from Thailand to build factories in Cambodia, and export to Thailand.”

Kalyan elaborated that “the Thai +1 Policy is important, and benefits Cambodia a lot because of our lower labour costs compared to Thailand. Therefore, we can attract more Thai investors.”

Nevertheless, the real estate price and development in Poipet have not shown any signs of improvement.

Poipet governor Chroun said, “The price of real estate property is normal concerning the country’s changing economy and politics. In reality, the land price in this city has not increased that much.”

For instance, the owner of Sok Sreng Borey, who had sold affordably priced flats in the city, has abandoned her project.

“There’s not much interest concerning house selling and buying in Poipet, and that’s why I stopped my flat construction project because I wasn’t able to sell even one flat within three to four months.”

Economists have a more long-term vision for Poipet, and the northwestern parts of Cambodia.

Kalyan has no doubts, saying, “I believe Poipet will grow very fast in the future. Serey Sophorn city, Battambang, and Pursat will benefit more in the future from the Thai +1 Policy and Cambodia’s ISDP.”


  • Ministry orders all schools, public and private, to close for SEA Games

    From April 20 to May 18, all public and private educational institutions will be closed to maintain order and support Cambodia's hosting of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, said a directive from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Cambodia will host the

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to

  • Angkor Beer strengthens national pride with golden new look and fresher taste

    Angkor Beer – the "Gold of Angkor" – has a new look, one that is more stylish and carries a premium appeal, as well as a fresher taste and smoother flavour, making it the perfect choice for any gathering. Angkor Beer recently launched its new design, one

  • Water supply authority assures public shortages over early ‘24

    The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) asked for understanding from Phnom Penh residents in some communes where water pressure is weak. They assured residents that all supply issues will be resolved by early 2024, but have suggested that residents use water sparingly in the meantime.

  • Newest horror film showcases unique Khmer culture, identity

    At first glance, the trailer to new horror sensation The Ritual: Black Nun looks like a western-produced feature film. As the story reveals itself to the viewers, it becomes clearer that this is a Khmer film, with a strong Cambodian identity and close links to

  • Khmer ballet documentary debuts April 1

    A new documentary, The Perfect Motion, or Tep Hattha in Khmer, will premiere to the public on April 1. The documentary film follows two intertwined storylines: the creation of a show called Metamorphosis by the late Princess Norodom Buppha Devi (her very last production) and the