KAMPONG CHAM, Cambodia, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday broke ground for the construction and enlargement of a 248-kilometer stretch of national road No. 6A, saying that the road is vital for the development of the economy and tourism.
The road will be widened from the current 7 meters to 12 meters with some places up to 25 meters, and work on the project will begin from Bathey district in Kampong Cham province in the east to Siem Reap province in the northwest.
"This road is very important to connect traveling from Phnom Penh City to various provinces including the tourism province of Siem Reap and to the Thai border," the premier said. "It will be hugely contributing to developing the Cambodian economy and tourism."
He said when completed, the road will be the most modern and longest one in the kingdom.
"To date, China has built tar-paved roads in a total length of more than 2,000 kilometers in Cambodia, making China the largest donor in road development in Cambodia," he said. Besides, seven bridges across rivers have been built or are under construction with Chinese aid.
The premier expressed profound thanks to the Chinese government for supporting Cambodia in building roads, bridges and irrigation systems, which are the key components to boost social and economic development.
"I'd like also to extend my sincere thanks to the Chinese government for encouraging her investors to Cambodia," he said.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Pan Guangxue said that China saw road No. 6 as one of the most important highways in Cambodia.
China's Shanghai Construction (Group) General Company is responsible for the road construction that is expected to be completed in 42 months, Minister of Transport Tram Iv Tek said, adding that the project costs 248 million U.S. dollars, which will be covered by a concessional loan from the government of China.