Cambodia on Thursday opened its latest and largest airport, a Chinese language-funded venture supposed to function an upgraded gateway to the nation’s predominant vacationer attraction, the centuries-old Angkor Wat temple advanced within the northwestern province of Siem Reap.
Siem Reap Angkor Worldwide Airport is positioned on 700 hectares (1,730 acres) of land about 40 kilometers (25 mi) east of Angkor Wat, and has a 3,600-meter runway. It could possibly deal with 7 million passengers per yr, with plans to extend it to deal with 12 million passengers per yr from 2040.
The airport started operations on October 16, with the primary flight arriving from neighboring Thailand. The previous airport that changed it was about 5 kilometers from the favored vacationer web site.
The opening ceremony on Thursday was presided over by Prime Minister Hun Manet, Chinese language Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian, Governor of China’s Yunnan Province, Wang Yubo, and different officers.
In his speech through the ceremony, Hun Manet stated that the traditional airport is positioned close to the temples of Angkor, and he feared that vibrations attributable to passing flights would injury its foundations.
Tourism is without doubt one of the predominant pillars supporting Cambodia’s economic system. In keeping with the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia acquired about 3.5 million worldwide vacationers within the first eight months of 2023, whereas in all of 2019, the final yr earlier than the coronavirus pandemic, it acquired about 6.6 million overseas guests.
“We hope that 2024 would be the yr of the start of the progress and resurgence of the tourism sector in our Siem Reap province,” Hun Manet stated.
China is Cambodia’s most vital ally and benefactor, and has a powerful affect in its economic system, which is clear within the many Chinese language-financed tasks, lodges, and casinos within the capital, Phnom Penh, and elsewhere throughout the nation. Chinese language state banks have financed airports, roads and different infrastructure constructed with Chinese language loans. Greater than 40 % of Cambodia’s US$10 billion exterior debt is owed to China.
The brand new airport, constructed at a value of about US$1.1 billion, was financed by Angkor Worldwide Airport (Cambodia) Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China’s Yunnan Funding Holdings Co., Ltd., underneath a 55-year construct, function and switch deal.
Yunnan Province Governor Wang Yubo, talking on behalf of the Chinese language authorities, stated that the launch of the airport demonstrates the deep friendship between the peoples of the 2 nations, whereas strengthening bilateral financial relations.
The venture is a part of the Belt and Street Initiative (BRI), the bold program involving Chinese language firms constructing transportation, vitality and different infrastructure overseas financed by China Improvement Financial institution loans. Its aim is to develop commerce and the economic system by enhancing China’s communications with the remainder of the world in a twenty first century model of the Silk Roads commerce from China to the Center East and to Europe.
One other airport is being constructed with Chinese language funding at a value of US$1.5 billion to serve the capital. The brand new Phnom Penh Worldwide Airport, formally generally known as Tico Worldwide Airport, is positioned on 2,600 hectares (6,425 acres) and is scheduled for completion in 2024.
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(Tags for translation) Siem Reap Angkor Worldwide Airport