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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

China to pay most of 257km Cambodia-Vietnam rail link

A feasibility study on the construction of a 257km railway linking Cambodia and Vietnam shows it will cost at least US$686 million, according to the Phnom Penh Post.

The railway will be part of an intra-Asian railway that runs from Singapore to China via Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam.

Under a scheme announced in 2008 to develop an intra-Asian railway, China has offered to contribute US$500 million to build the Cambodia-Vietnam stretch of the railway.

The overall cost estimate was announced on Wednesday (July 20) by the Third Railway Survey and Design Institute from the Chinese Railway Ministry which began the study in July, 2009.

The study results will be submitted to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen for his approval.

The 275km railway will start in Kampong Speu Province's Oudong District, pass by Kratie Province's Snuol District and end at Vietnam's Loc Ninh District in the southern border province of Binh Phuoc.

The US$686 million cost does not include resettlement compensation to residents who have to leave their homes to make way for the line.

Experts said the railway could bring huge economic benefits to Cambodia, especially in agriculture and mineral exploitation.

At present, Cambodia is revamping the country's existing rail links, including the 254km southern line from the capital to Sihanoukville, and the north line 388 from Phnom Penh to the border with Thailand thanks to an Asian Development Bank loan worth US$73 million.
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DPRK trade delegation visits Cambodia to start economic ties

PHNOM PENH, July 26 (Xinhua) -- A trade delegation of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) led by Vice Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Myong San on Tuesday started a visit in Cambodia in order to commence trade and investment ties with the country.

During a meeting with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on Tuesday, Ri Myong San said the visit was to find possibility to start economic relations with Cambodia, especially on the development of agriculture, trade and investment.

Meanwhile, Hor Namhong said that Cambodia welcomed DPRK in starting trade ties with Cambodia for mutual interests of the two peoples.

Ouch Borith, a secretary of state for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, told reporters after the meeting that the DPRK delegation would hold the first-ever Cambodia and DPRK Joint Committee meeting on July 27 in order to discuss and explore trade and investment opportunities between the two nations.

"It will be the first meeting since the two countries signed the agreement in 1993 to establish the Cambodia-DPRK Joint Committee," he said. "So far, the trade exchange between Cambodia and DPRK is zero."

According to the trade statistics from the Ministry of Commerce, there is no any record of trade transaction between the two countries.

On the investment side, earlier this year, the DPRK's Mansudae New Tech Corporation has invested 17 million U.S. dollars to build an e-museum in Siem Reap province, according to the figure from the Council for the Development of Cambodia.

The DPRK delegation arrived here on Monday and will leave here on Thursday.
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