Chinese-funded international airport to boost Cambodia’s economy and tourism (PM-Xinhua)

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Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen visits the construction site of the Chinese-invested Siem Reap Angkor International Airport in Sotr Nikum district, about 40 km from the UNESCO-listed Angkor Archaeological Park and 50 km from the provincial city of Siem Reap, Cambodia, April 3, 2022. (Photo by Ly Lay/Xinhua)

“We are lucky to have a good friend like China and this project is another fruit of cooperation between Cambodia and China,” Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said, noting that the international airport from Siem Reap Angkor to Chinese investment will play an important role. role in reviving the local economy and tourism when it comes into service at the end of 2023.

SIEM REAP, Cambodia, April 4 (Xinhua) — Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on Sunday that the Chinese-invested Siem Reap Angkor International Airport will play an important role in reviving the economy and the kingdom tourism when it goes live in late 2023.

The Prime Minister made the remarks during a visit to the airport construction site in Sotr Nikum district, about 40 km from the UNESCO-listed Angkor Archaeological Park and 50 km from the provincial town of Siem Reap.

“We are lucky to have a good friend like China and this project is another fruit of cooperation between Cambodia and China,” Hun Sen said.

“This large-scale international airport will bring a boost to the economic development of our northern region, including the provinces of Siem Reap, Oddar Meanchey, Kampong Thom and Preah Vihear,” he said.

Hun Sen explained that the construction of the new airport must meet the expected growth of foreign tourists to the Angkor Archaeological Park in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era and it will be able to handle 7 million passengers per year. in the first phase.

Aerial photo taken on April 3, 2022 shows the construction site of the Chinese-funded Siem Reap Angkor International Airport in Sotr Nikum district, about 40 km from the UNESCO-listed Angkor Archaeological Park. , and 50 km from the provincial town of Siem Reap, Cambodia. (Photo by Van Pov/Xinhua)

Covering a plot of 700 hectares, the new airport is licensed and invested by Angkor International Airport Investment (Cambodia) Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China’s Yunnan Investment Holdings Ltd.

He said the airport is being developed under the 55-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) model, including five years for construction and 50 years for commercial operations.

Work on the project began in March 2020, generating some 1,900 jobs. Hun Sen praised the company for making progress on the project despite the impact of COVID-19.

Tekreth Samrach, Secretary of State in the Council of Ministers and Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Construction of Siem Reap Angkor International Airport, said that so far the construction of passenger terminals has reached 19% and a track should be completed. in May.

He said construction of other infrastructure such as office buildings and dormitories, air traffic control tower, cargo warehouse, oil station and pipelines, and parking lot should be completed by the end of 2022.

Samrach said the project is expected to be fully completed in March 2023 and commissioned in October 2023 after a six-month period to apply for safety and security certificates and test the entire airport system.

“Siem Reap Angkor International Airport is the Tier 4E international airport with a 3,600-meter runway that can accommodate all kinds of aircraft landing,” he said. “This is another new achievement that will not only make a significant contribution to the development of the Cambodian economy, but will also directly benefit people living in the region.”

Photo taken on April 3, 2022 shows the steel structure of the Chinese-funded Siem Reap Angkor International Airport in Sotr Nikum district, about 40 km from the UNESCO-listed Angkor Archaeological Park, and 50 km from the provincial town of Siem Reap, Cambodia. (Photo by Ly Lay/Xinhua)

Yim Yoeun, a 35-year-old concrete worker working on the Siem Reap Angkor International Airport project, said he was really happy to work for this mega-project which will bring great benefits to the development of economy, trade and tourism of Cambodia.

“Here, I not only received a decent salary of US$450 per month, but also had the chance to learn skills from Chinese counterparts,” he told Xinhua. “Cambodian and Chinese workers cooperate well with each other and always help each other.”

Another 33-year-old worker, Nol Neth, believes that local residents will benefit a lot from this airport project as it will create many job opportunities for their children.

“Thank you, China, for investing in this huge project which provided us with a lot of jobs during the construction,” he told Xinhua.

The Angkor Archaeological Park, inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List in 1992, is the kingdom’s most popular tourist destination.

Before the pandemic, the former park attracted up to 2.2 million international tourists in 2019, generating a gross revenue of US$99 million from ticket sales.

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