RATANAKIRI, Cambodia, Nov. 21 (FN) -- Cambodia on Monday inaugurated the stretch of China-funded national road No. 76, which is essential for travel, goods transport and eco-tourism development in far northeastern provinces.

The 172-km stretch of the national road connects Mondolkiri province to Ratanakiri province.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Xiong Bo presided over the inauguration ceremony, which was attended by government officials, local authorities, residents and students, totally about 10,000.

The construction of the road was begun in Jan. 2012 by the China Road and Bridge Corporation at the cost of about 96.4 million U.S. dollars, in which 91.7 million U.S. dollars was the concessional loan from the Chinese government and 4.7 million U.S. dollars was contributed by the Cambodian government.

The hilly province of Ratanakiri is located some 588 km northeast of Cambodia.