The Funan Techo Canal: Redefining Connectivity, Reshaping Politics



About the Webinar

Cambodia’s proposed Funan Techo Canal, spanning 180 kilometers from Phnom Penh Autonomous Port to Kep Province and the Gulf of Thailand, is a flagship project of the new Hun Manet government. Slated for completion by 2028, this project promises economic benefits and strategic autonomy for Cambodia by reducing its reliance on Vietnamese ports for international shipping. Reportedly funded and built by the China Bridge and Road Corporation, the canal also complicates the dynamics of Vietnam-Cambodia-China relations.

This webinar explores the multifaceted aspects of this ambitious project, including Cambodia’s strategic, economic, and political motivations, and the Vietnamese concerns, especially regarding its potential environmental impacts on the Mekong Delta. The webinar also discusses how the countries concerned can collaborate to ensure the project adheres to the 1995 Mekong Agreement, promoting transparency and protecting the legitimate rights and interests of the riparian states.

About the Speakers

Vannarith Chheang is a public policy analyst and social innovator. He has over 15 years of hands-on experience across the academic, public, and private sectors. Currently he serves as Chairman of Advisory Council of the President of Cambodia’s National Assembly, and Chairman of Angkor Social Innovation Park. Prior to these appointments, he was President at the Asian Vision Institute, Lecturer at the University of Leeds, Executive Director at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, and Assistant to Defence Minister of Cambodia.

Le Hong Hiep is Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the Vietnam Studies Programme at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. He is also an editor of the Institute’s flagship journal Contemporary Southeast Asia. Hiep holds a PhD in Political and International Studies from the University of New South Wales. Before joining ISEAS, he worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam and taught at the Faculty of International Relations, Vietnam National University-HCMC.

Brian Eyler directs the Southeast Asia Program and the Energy, Water, and Sustainability Program at Stimson Center in Washington D.C. He is widely recognized as a leading voice on environmental, energy, and water security issues in the Mekong. At Stimson Center, Brian also co-leads the Mekong Dam Monitor and chairs the War Legacy Working Group. His first book, Last Days of the Mighty Mekong, was published by Zed Books in 2019. Brian holds a MA from the University of California, San Diego and a BA from Bucknell University.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

If you have questions for the speaker, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.

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