||The project will enhance the competitiveness of towns along the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC). The project will transform the corridor towns of Battambang, Bavet, Neak Loeung, and Poipet in Cambodia into economic hubs by improving urban-environmental infrastructure and strengthening institutional capacities of provincial and local authorities. The productivity of economic enterprises in these towns will be significantly improved since there will be increased climate resilience through flood control measures. The environment will be improved through clean wastewater, disposal of solid waste, and enhanced mobility on improved urban roads. The project will provide environmental infrastructure for wastewater treatment and solid waste management, which will, among others, help to reduce the carbon footprint of these towns, making them cleaner and greener, and more livable. The project will finance 10 subprojects in these towns.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Considerable investments of the government and the ADB in the development of priority transport corridors have established the physical connectivity among the GMS countries, providing the foundation for more efficient movement of people, goods, and services. The towns and cities along the SEC, which links Cambodia and Viet Nam, are well positioned to serve as dynamic centers of investment and inclusive economic growth for the country and the GMS region. The strategic location of the corridor towns provides the stimulus for increased trade and investments along the transport routes. Amidst these development opportunities, the rapid growth of the urban population, and the expansion of urban areas, several corridor towns are now faced with the daunting task of meeting the demands for urban infrastructure and essential support services.
The planned development of these towns will induce more regulated and sustainable growth, attracting public sector investments in urban environment infrastructures and encouraging private sector interest in urban economic infrastructures. The proposed project will strengthen the economic competitiveness and investment attractiveness of the towns. The functions of small- and medium-sized towns are crucial in terms of their role as markets and transport hubs for agricultural produce from rural areas, as well as centers for production and distribution of goods and services to urban areas.
This project is Phase 1 of a long-term engagement in towns of the GMS economic corridors, and is aligned with the strategic framework of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program, 2012 2022, approved by the 4th GMS Summit on 19 to 20 December 2011. It is also in line with the Cambodia Country Partnership Strategy and supports the ADB Urban Operational Plan (2012-2020) and the water operational plan (2011-2020).
The participating corridor towns in Cambodia now face the pressing task of coping with the demands of rapidly growing and expanding urban areas. The ambition of local authorities is to plan and manage urban growth using an integrated approach, operate and maintain urban environmental and economic infrastructure, and efficiently deliver municipal services. Despite policy reforms to promote decentralization, local institutional capacity has not kept pace with the urban sector development and economic growth. With increasing trade and traffic flows, there is an urgent need to strengthen the capacities of the corridor towns to manage local economic development in an environmentally sustainable manner.