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Cambodia inaugurates part of ASEAN highway

(Xinhua)

16:23, August 16, 2011

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Tuesday inaugurated a 9-kilometer section of the national road No. 1, which is the main road in the ASEAN highway scheme, connecting Phnom Penh and Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City.

The 9-kilometer section has been built since December 2009 under the Japanese grant aid of 25 million U.S. dollars.

Speaking during the inauguration ceremony in Phnom Penh, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the national road No. 1 is an international arterial road in Cambodia connecting Phnom Penh and Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, constituting an important part of the Southern Economic Corridor and the ASEAN highway connecting Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and Bangkok.

"It plays an important role for the movement of people and the transportation of goods in the region," he said.

He added that when the construction of Japan-funded Neak Loeung Bridge, a part of ASEAN highway, is completed in 2015, the ASEAN highway in Cambodia's part will be fully operational.

The premier said that so far, Japan has provided about two billion U.S. dollars to Cambodia, mostly are grant aid.

The ambassador of Japan to Cambodia Masafumi Kuroki said during the event that Japan hopes that the assistance will further strengthen the long standing friendship between Japan and Cambodia and the people of the two countries.

"We hope that the road will help Cambodia to boost its economic development and alleviate poverty," he said.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) consist of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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