BANGKOK: A railway reconnecting Cambodia and Thailand was officially inaugurated in a bid to slash travel times and boost trade between the South-East Asian neighbours.
Cambodian premier Hun Sen and his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha witnessed a signing ceremony at a Thai border post before riding together to the Cambodian town of Poi Pet on a train donated by Thailand.
Cambodia last year re-opened the final stretch of a 370km railway running from the capital, Phnom Penh, to the Thai border.
The 48km section of track near Poi Pet was destroyed in 1973 while the rest of the track to Phnom Penh had been suspended for over a decade due to its poor condition.
Prayut and Hun Sen also co-presided over the ceremonial celebrations yesterday for the Thai-Cambodian Friendship Bridge, which is open for public use between the two neighbouring countries.
The bridge, linking Aranyaprathet district in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province with Poi Pet, was designed to accommodate the cross-border transport of cargo trucks, villagers and merchandise daily.
Permanent border checkpoints will be built on both sides of the border.
Prayut said Thailand and Cambodia would continue to engage in joint development projects under partnerships of peace and prosperity and the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy organisation between the five Mekong Subregion states. — Xinhua/AFP