Cambodia's PM Hun Sen (R) shakes hands with Thailand's PM Prayut Chan-O-Cha (L) on Monday. El Vatanak/ AFP
A railway reconnecting Cambodia and Thailand was officially inaugurated on Monday in a bid to slash travel times and boost trade between the southeast Asian neighbours.
Cambodian premier Hun Sen and his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-O-Cha witnessed a signing ceremony at a Thai border post before riding together to the Cambodian town of Poipet on a train donated by Thailand.
The pair — with Prayut dressed in a bright yellow shirt — stepped from the carriage in Poipet with their clasped hands held high to the cheers of waiting crowds, waving flags of both countries.
Hun Sen described their journey as “historic” and thanked Thailand for its efforts “to reconnect the railway between Cambodia and Thailand.”
The railway would also better link his country to other southeast Asian neighbours and boost economy and trade, he added.
Bilateral trade between Thailand and Cambodia currently stands at $6 billion.
Cambodia last year re-opened the final stretch of a 370-kilometre (230-mile) railway running from the capital, Phnom Penh, to the Thai border.
The Asian Development Bank bankrolled the reconstruction of the link to the tune of $13 million.
Much of Cambodia's railways — built by the French in colonial times — were damaged by the years of bitter conflict that engulfed the country during the Cold War era.
The 48-kilometre (30-mile) section of track near Poipet was destroyed in 1973 while the rest of the track to Phnom Penh had been suspended for over a decade due to its poor condition.
The Southeast Asian country has more than 600 kilometres (375 miles) of track extending from its northern border with Thailand to the southern coast.
Thailand is set to end 2019 at the weakest pace of growth in five years and little to cheer about next year, as Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy faces headwinds from global trade tensions, a surging baht and rising political risks.
The United States began their trophy defence in scintillating style with 13-0 Women's World Cup thrashing of Thailand in a ruthless demonstration of strength to potential quarter-final
Some of the 12 young Thai soccer players and their coach have marked the anniversary of their ordeal that saw them trapped in a flooded cave for two weeks.
Mohamed Adel is accused of killing his colleague Naiyera Ashraf in front of the gate of Mansoura University after she refused to marry him.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Tuesday, congratulated high school graduates in the country.
A team of Dubai's Maritime Rescue Department at Ports Police Station has rescued a person from drowning in Jumeirah Beach after receiving the report through the 'safe Sail'