A bridge connecting Chrey Thom district in Kandal province to Long Binh in Vietnam’s An Giang province was officially launched yesterday by Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
“The Chrey Thom-Long Binh Bridge is an important cross-border gate for people in Cambodia and Vietnam,” said Hun Sen at the inauguration ceremony. “The bridge will also provide an overland trading route, where goods can be exchanged between the people of both countries.”
Hun Sen said the bridge would also help Cambodia achieve its target of a $5 billion bilateral trade with Vietnam. He also pointed out that Long Binh in An Giang province was well known for its vegetables. “These vegetables can be transported overland to Cambodia, landing first in Koh Thom district in Kandal,” said the premier.
The Chrey Thom-Long Binh Bridge is close to 1.2 kilometers long and allows vehicles to travel at 80km per hour. The bridge has a total investment of $36.56 million sourced from the two governments – with Cambodia contributing $15.81 million and Vietnam $20.75 million. Construction began in December 2014 and the bridge was completed this month.
“Overland travel now between Cambodia and Vietnam would be easier and besides trade there can also be stronger cultural ties between the people of both countries,” added Hun Sen.
Mey Kalyan, senior adviser to the Supreme National Economic Council, told Khmer Times that though Cambodia’s trade relationship with Vietnam was important, it was also necessary for the kingdom to strengthen commercial ties with other neighbouring countries. “We also need to have strong bilateral trade ties with Laos, Thailand and other countries in ASEAN. There must be a balance and only then can we compete in a level playing field,” he said.
Cambodia and Vietnam made progress towards ambitious economic targets after trade between the countries rose 21.2 percent in the first two months of this year, worth about $624.1 million.
Vietnam was Cambodia’s third largest trade partner last year, while bilateral trade between the countries hit $3 billion. It was also among the top five investors to Cambodia in 2016, with $2.85 billion registered capital invested in 183 projects.