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  • H.E. Sun Chanthol, Senior Minister, Minister of Public Works and Transport
  • Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
  • Greeting to everyone – to those here in person at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and to those joining online.

My congratulations to HE Sun Chanthol for getting us here despite all the challenges we have faced from COVID-19. I’m pleased to see this important work take shape and move now towards completion. My sincere thanks to HE Sok Siphana who has personally reviewed and edited the work to bring it up to a high standard and fit for purpose. I encourage participants in this event to actively contribute to this important work.

I’d like to make three observations related to this Intermodal Transport Connectivity and Logistics System master plan. First, use what you have – we have exceptional natural assets in respect of logistics, and this plan sets out how we can exploit these to the full. Second, we can build resilience – build forward better – so that as we return to high growth we’re much better at locking that growth in. Finally, seize a green growth dividend. It’s driven by new technology and a long-term global shift to sustainable investments. This is a wave we do not want to miss.

This master plan opens up the opportunity to use Cambodia’s natural endowments to their full potential. From its strategic position within fast growing South East Asia to a natural landscape allowing easy connections from the capital out to the coast and to neighboring countries, Cambodia seems ready made as a logistics hub. Within the plan, under-exploited assets are identified. HE Sun Chanthol has argued that rivers and water ways should be used far more for agriculture and other goods. This master plan recognizes Cambodia’s invaluable land, river, air and sea connections can be made to work better with the right strategic planning and investments. Use what you have – and use it well.

Secondly, this important piece of work helps Cambodia pull together transportation connections, hubs and inter-modal systems. Better connections within the country can compliment stronger connections regionally and globally. That networked connectivity builds resilience so that Cambodia not only returns more quickly to higher rates of human development, but that higher growth is locked in. A strong and clear strategy on transport and logistics can make existing infrastructure more resilient and more productive.

Finally, we need to see the big global transformation of our times. Major economies the world over have announced carbon neutral deadlines – US by 2050, China by 2060. SPM has also announced that Cambodia will begin the process of setting a carbon neutral goal. This will mean major shifts of investments towards green growth. Those investments are directed towards new technology, higher skills and create more jobs. Green investments creates higher growth than traditional carbon based investment. That’s from the findings of some new research by UNDP, NSPC and MEF – each dollar invested in green energy produces more economic growth, more and better jobs here in Cambodia. The IMF released a report last month saying the same thing but on a global scale – green spending economic multipliers are between 4 and 7 times higher. It’s not just about saving the world – it’s also a smarter long-term investment. Transport systems based on clean energy, using new technology – think electric vehicles, imbedded internet throughout roads and infrastructure – these need to anticipate and adapt to global green growth opportunities. The coming transformation in new digital technology and the shift to green growth are two parts of the same whole, and transportation systems that can compliment and augment that transformation will best serve Cambodia in the years ahead.

Please let me conclude by once again offering my sincere thanks and congratulations to HE Sun Chanthol and the MPWT team for their leadership in this work. I wish all participants a good discussion and productive session. Many thanks.

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