Cambodia and Vietnam are pushing forward with plan to develop an expressway between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City, according to the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation.
“The expressway would run from Phnom Penh to Bavet in Svay Rieng province, where it would be linked to an expressway from the border gate at Moc Bai, on the Vietnamese side, to Ho Chi Minh City,” said Va Sim Sorya, the ministry’s director-general of administration.
Mr. Sim Sorya said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the expressway was signed on Tuesday during the three-day official visit of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phu.
“The MoU is to pave way for the two countries start a feasibility study on building the expressway,” he said.
Mr. Sim Sorya said the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had also done earlier studies on the expressway and the government will also consider them.
JICA envisages a six lane expressway which will stretch a total distance of approximately 220kms. It is designed to cut the traveling time between the two cities by half, from the current six hours to three hours.
“The earlier studies had a budget for the expressway but it was too much. Because of that, the Ministry of Economy and Finance wants a new study done to see how the cost can be brought down.”
In January, the Minister of Public Works and Transportation Sun Chanthol met his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Hong Truong in Hanoi and revived talks on the expressway.
“Better connection between the two countries is important to support trade activities and facilitate people’s travels,” Mr. Chanthol said.
Mey Kalyan, senior advisor of government’s Supreme Economic Council, said that the expressway will facilitate the travel of people and transport of goods between the two countries.
“It will help bring down the cost of transport of goods and save time.
“When we have better infrastructure, it would benefit the economy. They can also easily export agricultural goods to Vietnam,” he said.