Gov’t Officials Agree on Loan With S Korea

Cambodian officials signed seven agreements with South Korea last week during a visit to Seoul, including a $30 million loan agreement to improve a number of roads in Kampot province, officials said.

Speaking at Phnom Penh Inter­national Airport on Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong said the Cambodian delegation to South Korea, which was headed by Prime Minister Hun Sen, signed four separate memoranda of understanding concerning technical exchanges in the areas of agriculture, transportation, mining, and construction.

The delegation also signed a loan agreement concerning “road construction in Kampot province—road numbers 31, 38, 117 and the Kam­pot corridor road, which will cost $30 million,” Mr Namhong said. The corridor road is meant to be an addition to National Road 3 that will bypass Kampot town, so through travelers won’t have to cut through the middle of the provincial capital.

A second loan agreement was signed for a water treatment facility in Siem Reap province, according to the minister, but he did not provide an amount for that loan.

The two loan agreements are part of a total of $127 million the South Korean government has committed to loaning Cambodia for infrastructure projects in accordance with a general agreement signed last year, Mr Namhong said. Under that 2008 agreement, South Korea will also extend loans for water treatment centers in Mondolkiri and Banteay Mean­chey as well as various bridge renovations, he added.

“This was the fifth official visit of our Samdech [Mr Hun Sen] to Korea and this official visit was a success,” Mr Namhong said, ad­ding the prime minister had presented a wish-list of infrastructure projects totaling $380 million that he hopes to secure Korean money to complete.

“[We] have raised this to Korea and they promised to consider Samdech Hun Sen’s offering,” he added.

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokes­man Koy Kuong said he was not sure when construction on the two projects that have now secured funding might begin.


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