Cambodia, Vietnam open new bridge to boost trade
24 Apr 2017 at 16:33 WRITER: KYODO NEWS
PHNOM PENH - Cambodia and Vietnam on Monday opened a jointly built bridge across a river in the Mekong delta to improve trade and commerce between the two nations.
The 427-metre-long bridge cost US$36 million, with the expense split almost evenly between the two countries. The bridge commemorates the 50th anniversary this year of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Cambodia and Vietnam and took 27 months to complete.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said the bridge will facilitate peace and improve living standards in both countries, especially in communities located along the Mekong River and in the delta region.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc echoed the same themes in his speech, saying the bridge will help boost trade and tourism between the two nations.
The bridge spans the Tonle Bassac, one of the major rivers dividing the two countries, and is anchored on the Cambodian side in Saang district, Kandal province, about 80 kilometres south of Phnom Penh, and on the Vietnamese side in An Giang province.
The countries estimate bilateral trade will increase to roughly $5 billion in 2017 from $3.4 billion the previous year due in large part to the bridge, while the Cambodian government expects annual national economic growth to remain around 7% thanks to the bridge.
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