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Cambodian, Chinese firms sign deal to build railway, seaport

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PHNOM PENH, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- A Cambodian company and a Chinese firm on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in order to build a railway and a seaport in Cambodia to serve iron and steel mining industry.

The deal was inked between Zhang Chuan You, general manager of Cambodia Iron and Steel Mining Industry Group, and Liu Ziming, chairman of China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group, under the witnesses of Cambodian Minister of Public Works and Transport Tram Iv Tek and Bai Zhongren, president of China Railway Group Limited.

Zhang Chuan You said at the signing ceremony that the two firms will jointly invest in building a 404-kilometer railway from Preah Vihear province to Koh Kong province and a seaport in Koh Kong province to support metal mining industry in Preah Vihear province.

He said the railway will run through the province of Preah Vihear, Kampong Thom, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu and Koh Kong, while the seaport will be capable to handle about 50 million tons of goods a year.

The railway will connect the country's northeastern part and southwestern part, he said, adding that the project will begin on July 2013 and is expected to be completed within 4 years.

"It will greatly contribute to developing Cambodian economy when the project is completed," he said.

Zhang Chuan Li, chairman of Cambodia Iron and Steel Mining Industry, said before the signing ceremony that the firm also set to build a steel plant in Preah Vihear province as the firm conducted a feasibility study in 2009 and found that the province is rich in iron ore.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Tram Iv Tek said that this is an ambitious project and if it happens, it will greatly spur Cambodian economy and reduce poverty.

"It will be a new railroad and an international large-scale seaport, I wish the project success in order to contribute to developing the economy," he said.

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