Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon (1st R front), president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, visits the ongoing construction site of the China-aided new national stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sept. 15, 2018. (Xinhua/Sovannara)
PHNOM PENH, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon, president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, on Saturday visited the ongoing construction site of the China-aided new national stadium here.
The stadium is being built by the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) under the Chinese grant aid of 1.1 billion Chinese yuan (about 170 million U.S. dollars). Work on the project began in August 2017 and is scheduled to be finished at the end of 2020.
Speaking to reporters after visiting the site, Thong Khon said about 20 percent of the project had been completed so far and praised the CSCEC for using advanced technology and high-quality materials for the project.
"I have observed that the company has very high responsibility and has used high-end technology for this stadium construction," he said. "In sum, the company has properly complied with technical standards."
He said the project employed about 600 Cambodian and Chinese workers, and through it, Cambodian workers would get better experience in their construction skills.
The minister said the stadium was a great treasure for Cambodia, which was born of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between Cambodia and China.
"It will not only help develop sports sector, but also contribute to attracting more foreign tourists to Cambodia," Thong Khon said, adding that a hotel, a mall, and a food court will also be built at the stadium.
Speaking about the Cambodia-China ties, the minister said "China and Cambodia are 'iron friends' and our relationship will be solid forever."
He said Chinese aid and investment as well as tourists have greatly contributed to Cambodia's socio-economic development and poverty reduction.
The 55,000-seat stadium covers an area of 16.22 hectares in the heart of the 85-hectare Morodok Techo National Sports Complex, which is located about 15 km north of central Phnom Penh.
It will serve as the main venue for tournaments when Cambodia hosts the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2023.