Tokyo, Japan (FN), March 31 – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, on Friday, held bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Abe to discuss various bilateral, regional, and international issues of common interests.

Both Prime Ministers also witnessed the signing of the Exchange of Notes on the Extension of Japanese grant aid for two development projects in Cambodia, including the ¥ 200,000,000 for the Implementation of the Economic and Social Development Programme — Construction of Container Freight Station; and ¥ 339, 000, 000 for the implementation of the Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship.

Japan’s provision of 23 billion yen in ODA for the new container terminal at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port will help Cambodia become a transit hub of goods in ASEAN with an annual capacity to handle up to 900,000 TEUs – a two-fold increase from the current capacity. The new terminal will be able to accommodate the large vessels increasingly used to transport goods through international waters, helping to reduce future freight costs.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has acquired a strategic shareholding in Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, a further confirmation of the Japanese government's faith in the future of the port – and the future of Cambodia.

Between 1992 and 2018, Japan provided the equivalent of more than USD 2.8 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Cambodia – about 15 percent of total financing by all development partners. Japan has supported major infrastructure projects – building the Kizuna Bridge and the Tsubasa Bridge, improving National Roads No. 1 and 5, developing a new container terminal at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, and improving flood protection and drainage in Phnom Penh.

Upgrading the two highways is making these roads vital strategic routes in the southern economic corridor between Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City – the two economic poles of the Greater Mekong Sub-region. Phnom Penh is the main city along this corridor, furthering promoting Cambodia as an investment destination for both small and large Japanese companies adopting Thailand +1 or Vietnam +1 strategies.

“Kizuna Bridge and Tsubasa Bridge, the longest bridge across the Mekong in Cambodia, have not only facilitated the movement of people and goods between Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos but have also made tourist destinations more accessible for the Cambodian people. The two bridges are featured on our new 500 riel banknote, a rare case for a flag of one country to appear on the banknote of another – a clear testimony to the deep ties between our two countries,” the Premier underlined.

“The kingdom’s past and future growth could not be dissociated from the support of Japan.”