Newly-upgraded stretch of Cambodia’s national road to boost trade with Thailand hinh anh 1Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (centre) inaugurates a stretch of National Road 5. (Photo: Phnom Penh Post)
Phnom Penh (VNA) - The newly upgraded 84.74km stretch of Cambodia’s National Road 5 – from Battambang town north to Banteay Meanchey provincial capital Sisophon – will improve trade, tourism and investment between Cambodia and Thailand, according to Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen.

The leader made the comment at the inauguration ceremony of the road segment on January 10.

Now 100 percent completed and inaugurated, the road will turn former “battlefields” into markets and places of production and tourism, make the lives of locals easier, and spur economic growth, he said.

Last year, the trade volume between Cambodia and Thailand reached about 10 billion USD, more than 9 billion USD with Vietnam, and over 100 million USD with Laos, figures that are likely to continue to grow, Hun Sen said.

He said the renovation project of the highway is considered to be about 90 percent completed, with the bulk of the remaining work being the removal of landmines and unexploded ordnances.

Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said National Road 5 has potential, as a link between Battambang and Banteay Meanchey, as well as other border provinces, and especially as a strategic route connecting Phnom Penh to the Poipet border checkpoint on the Cambodia-Thailand frontier, passing through five provinces.

Chanthol highlighted that National Road 5 forms part of Asian Highway 1 (AH1) that links Phnom Penh to Bangkok (Thailand) and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).

Renovations to the 366km National Road 5 are estimated to cost about 500 million USD, with the first 84.74km Battambang-Sisophon segment now complete./.