Last month, the Cambodian government inaugurated the newly refurbished Routes 5 and 6, both built during the French colonial era to connect the capital, Phnom Penh, with the Thai border, reports the New York Times. Cambodia is halfway through a road-building spree with 10 projects totaling 730 miles, of pavement still under way. A further 11 major roads are under negotiation. For Cambodia, good roads help bring together a country fractured by civil war. Roads are expensive — $350,000 per kilometer for the road to the Thai border. Route 5 and Route 6 were financed with a low-interest, 32-year loan by the Asian Development Bank in Manila, an institution whose shareholders from Japan and the United States. By the end of this year, Cambodia will have three good roads leading to Thailand, connections that the government hopes will increase trade and investment. For Japanese companies, the roads will link the supply chains of factories in Bangkok and in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

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