High-Speed Railway to Connect PP and HCMC

Cambodia is slated to get a second high-speed railway connecting Phnom Penh with Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam after French investment was given the green light
People buy tickets a train station in Phnom Penh, September 19, 2022. Kiripost/Siv Channa
People buy tickets a train station in Phnom Penh, September 19, 2022. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Cambodia has approved French investment in a new high-speed railway from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to boost economic growth.

This marks the first cross border high-speed train after plans were unveiled for the nation's first high-speed railway connecting Phnom Penh and Poipet.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen held a bilateral meeting with a French investment delegation at the Peace Palace to discuss the expansion of cooperation between Cambodia and France in various fields with potential to benefit both countries.

During the bilateral dialogue, Olivier Becht, French trade minister, sought investment in high-speed rail, water, land, air, construction, energy and other sectors, and asked Hun Sen about the priority sectors France should invest in.

The Prime Minister welcomed and informed the entire French investment delegation that Cambodia was allowed to invest 100 percent in the new high-speed railway from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City. The other two existing railways need to be expanded and he encouraged private sector investment through the B.O.T.

Regarding clean energy, Cambodia uses about 62 percent of clean energy and is attracting more investment. However, the construction of new coal-fired power plants and dams across the Mekong River was not approved. At the same time, Cambodia is encouraging the use of solar energy, the PM stated.

Hong Vannak, Economic Researcher at Royal Academy of Cambodia, said another new high-speed railway will serve enormous economic advantages for Cambodia for facilitating fast-low cost products transportation method in the long-term, attract more tourists, decrease environment pollution and save the national budget to fix national roads

“If the project [Phnom Penh-Ho Chi Minh high-speed railway] can achieve success, Cambodia will gain tons of benefits, such as the delivery goods from Cambodia to Vietnam vice versa and also across other Asian countries in the region.

“Moreover, it’s also good transportation for Vietnamese tourists that aim to visit Cambodia, including international tourists that are in Vietnam and want to come to visit Cambodia. Cambodian tourists also can use this high-speed train to travel to Vietnam either way,” he told Kiripost.

He added that if there is a high-speed train, the cost of fixing national roads every year will also be cut and save more time for longer-term transportation policy used in a sustainable way.

The distance between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City is about 229 km, taking about six hours to arrive by bus, with the lowest bus ticket costing $8, according to Camboticket.

Cambodia's priority investment sector is to promote industrial policy, encourage investment in the high-tech and processing industries, where Cambodia has raw materials such as cashews, rubber, potatoes, and rice for non-processing, not only to the Cambodian market, but to other markets that are the Kingdom’s partners, the PM said to French delegation