Sunday, August 20, 2006

Cambodia seeks finances for Singapore-Kunming rail link

OVERDUE PROJECT: Filepicture shows delegates from China, Thailand and Singapore attending the second special working group meeting on the Singapore-Kunming Rail Link in 1997.

Sunday August 20, 2006

SEPANG: Cambodia hopes that Asean can resolve financing problems plaguing the long proposed Singapore-Kunming Rail Link project, which is estimated to cost US$1.8bil (RM6.6bil).
This includes finding private sector parties willing to undertake the mammoth project spanning seven countries, Cambodia's Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh said.

He also called on his Asean counterparts to use the Kuala Lumpur meeting to also resolve the two missing links – 48km in Cambodia and 210km from Cambodia to Vietnam – of the ambitious rail project.

“I hope that if we can find enough financing for these two links. I believe not later than five years, we will be able to take a train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and go up to China,” he said upon his arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the 38th Asean Economic Ministers (AEM) meeting.

Prasidh said he hoped that during the Asean Mekong Basin Development Cooperation (AMBDC) meeting on Aug 26, countries could be found to provide financing for this project.

“We are quite grateful to Malaysia which offiered used rails and fasteners to Cambodia Rail for the construction of the 48km-missing link section of the Sisophon-Poiphet railway, which forms part of the Singapore-Kunming Railway Link project,” said Prasidh.

“If we can realise this project, it is going to be the first time that all countries involved will be linked by railways, thus speeding up the distribution of goods compared to transporting them by sea or roads,” he added.

The AMBDC took off in 1996 within the grouping to enhance economically sound and sustainable development of the sub-region, but funding remains a problem.

For instance, the Singapore-Kunming Railway Link project still needs more funds to finance the rail route that spans seven countries covering Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.

Up to 55 AMBDC projects costing about US$183mil (RM671mil) were identified for implementation but only 31 projects valued at US$11 mil (RM40mil) have been implemented or are at various stages of implementation.

According to Prasidh, the AMBDC is very important to support the development process of the Mekong Basin sub-region within Asean.

“Of course, there were countries that showed less interest in this project but Malaysia, China and Thailand have played an important role in supporting and assisting towards its implementation,” he said.

Malaysia has taken the lead role since 1996 by undertaking the US$533,000 (RM1.9mil) feasibility study and hosting the Singapore-Kunming Railway Link regional secretariat for three years since 2004.


Anonymous said...

Every international or regional meeting or conference has been considerred important or significant for development in Cambodia. The integration of Cambodia into ASEAN or Mekong Sub region just in the expectation of begging some help from them and claim to people that Cambodia benefits from this integration. Cambodian people are shame because we,our leaders, never think about developing our country by ourselves but wait and expect for help from foreign countries through integration. When will we change this mind to develop our country by oureselves?

Anonymous said...

I hope when this mega railway is completed from Singapore to Kuming, it is NOT the time that communist China military power expands throughout S/E Asia. Could it be another Ho Chi Ming trail in 2010's? May be I was under Pol Pot too long. Seeing nothing but negative things. China will be the next Iran of S/E Asia.

Anonymous said...

If everyone involved with high trade, money and developing, why keep The Communist Way? what for? and what is the use of it? Who will appreciate them? Everyone should know by now, how horrible it is to live under A Communist ruler.

By 2020 or may be 2030, the door of Capitalist will be completely open and the old Com. should be dimolished and be done with.

If it deos survive, a major make over will need to be dealt with by their leaders.

Human right subject will be one of the most talk about issue across The Globe. Life on this earth should be better. I'm sure The Communists want the same and the old com. will die eventually.

Anonymous said...

This is what most people don't understand! All ASEAN major highways are connected directly to China! The highways are designed to control the whole South East Asia natural resources! Even without the major highway networks,Cambodian natural resource is almost gone except new discovery in oil and gas! Hungary China need oil and gas to fuel their economy!

Poor Cambodian and they don't even know what is in store for them!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:47, you are right.