Cambodia on Tuesday signed off on a $90-million loan from Japan to finance the widening of a 47-km stretch of National Road 5 between Battambang and Serei Saophoan cities, which aims to improve traffic flow on one of the country’s major transportation arteries.
Prime Minister Hun Sen presided over the ceremony in Phnom Penh, during which Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and newly-appointed Japanese Ambassador Yuji Kumamaru signed the loan.
“[Mr. Namhong] believes National Road 5 is very important as it is the Southern Economic Corridor that connects Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said after the ceremony.
He added that the northern section of the road would be widened from two lanes to four lanes and that two bypasses would be built to ease congestion.
“The government of Japan places a priority on the improvement of the Southern Economic Corridor,” Mr. Kumamaru said in a statement, which also says that Japan is currently conducting feasibility studies in preparation for refurbishing the southern and middle sections of National Road 5.
According to Mr. Kuong, Japan has given Cambodia $335 million in grants and $139 million in concessional loans since 2010, and from 2005 provided more than $280 million in technical assistance, including $76 million to the ECCC.
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