Cambodia broke ground on Friday (March 22) on a US$2 billion. Once complete in 2023, the expressway will connect the capital Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, a southern resort and seaport that has become a honeypot for Chinese investors.
According to The Straits Times, the near 200km road is being constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation and is a part of China's ambitious Belt and Road project.
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said here on Friday that the expressway will play a crucial role to boost the economic development of Cambodia and to improve people's livelihoods, as reported by Xin Hua.
Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a 190-km expressway stretching from capital Phnom Penh to the deep-sea port province of Preah Sihanouk, Hun Sen said the super highway is the first of its kind in Cambodia.
The prime minister said that the thoroughfare will increase logistics efficiency in the country, and reduce cost of goods transportation and travel period.
"Currently, travel between the two destinations takes about five hours, but when the expressway is built, it will take only two and a half hours," he said.
Cambodian Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said the expressway will connect Phnom Penh's Pursenchey district to the southwestern coastal province of Preah Sihanouk through Kandal, Kampong Speu, and Koh Kong provinces.
"It will play an important role in enhancing the efficiency of goods transportation and logistics system in Cambodia," Chanthol said.
"Also, it will facilitate companies and people in transporting their products to local markets or to international markets through the international deep-sea port."
During the construction, the expressway will create 6,000 jobs for Cambodians, and in the operational period, it will provide more than 2,000 jobs.