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Feature: 1st Chinese-invested expressway injects new vitality into Cambodia's economic growth

By: Xinhua News Agency   Update:2022-11-08
PHNOM PENH, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Connecting the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh to the international deep-sea port province of Preah Sihanouk, the first Chinese-invested Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville (PPSHV) Expressway has been giving a significant boost to the country's economic growth and tourism development.
Invested by the China Road and Bridge Corporation, the 2-billion-U.S.-dollar freeway was opened to traffic on Oct. 1 for a one-month trial operation for free after more than three years of construction.
Sareth Sreypich, a 29-year-old supervisor at the expressway's toll stations, said the 187-km freeway has played an important role in enhancing the efficiency of travel and logistic system in the Southeast Asian nation.
"Previously, we traveled on National Road 4, it took up to five hours, but now, traveling on the expressway, it takes two hours only," she told Xinhua on Monday. "Drivers say that since there is the expressway, their travel is easy; it saves them money and reduces their travel time."
Sreypich said it costs only 12 U.S. dollars of toll for a family car in a single trip between the two destinations.
She said previously, container trucks or lorries spent one or two days traveling from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville and vice versa, but with the expressway, they could travel two or three times per day.
Teng Sok Hem, a 24-year-old supervisor at the PPSHV Expressway Monitoring Center, said the expressway is the first of its kind in the kingdom.
"The expressway has helped reduce travel time and save money, and it has boosted economy, tourism and transportation in Cambodia," she told Xinhua. "I'm proud to work here because I feel that I have been contributing to helping boost Cambodia's economy."
Cambodian Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said that the expressway is the biggest single project under the Belt and Road Initiative cooperation between Cambodia and China.
"This expressway is a strategic road," he said, noting that it will become the road of great economic and tourist potential for Cambodia.
The minister said the freeway will help companies increase their business competitive capacity because they will spend less time and money on transport.
The expressway has two lanes for traffic in each direction plus an emergency lane on each side and is paved with asphalt concrete. It can only be used by 500cc motorcycles or above, and cars with a minimum speed of 70 km.
Chea Chandara, president of the Logistics and Supply Chain Business Association in Cambodia, said the expressway has been injecting new vitality into the country's economic development since it links the capital and the kingdom's largest seaport.
"The expressway will undoubtedly provide great benefits to our economic development as it will facilitate goods transportation between Phnom Penh and the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, a major gateway for Cambodia's trade exchanges with other countries," he told Xinhua.

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