Sunday, November 8, 2009

PM jets off to Tokyo summit

PRIME Minister Hun Sen departed Thursday for the inaugural Mekong-Japan summit in Tokyo, where he will urge the Japanese government to finance a new bridge project and solicit investment from Japanese firms, officials said.

The premier is to hold bilateral talks with his Japanese counterpart Yukio Hatoyama on Saturday, seeking to secure funds for a second Mekong bridge project that would link Cambodia to the planned ASEAN highway and the Greater Mekong Subregion.

“The bridge will connect countries in the region and link up with National Road 1,” Sri Thamrong, an adviser to Hun Sen, told reporters at Phnom Penh International Airport.

The Japanese government has agreed in principle to fund the construction of the US$70 million Neak Loeung Bridge, which would span the Mekong 60 kilometres east of Phnom Penh.

Japan has already funded the stretch of National Road 1 linking Phnom Penh with Neak Loeung.

Sri Thamrong said Japan is one of Cambodia’s biggest foreign aid donors, but that Japanese investment was still low.

“Hun Sen will also meet with Japanese investors in order to attract them to invest in Cambodia,” he said.

BBC News | Asia-Pacific | World Edition

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