Thailand and Cambodia have agreed to upgrade four border checkpoints and open new ones to boost bilateral trade and tourism along the shared border. The goal is to increase trade volume between the two countries to $15 billion US over the next five years.
Thailand Foreign Minister, Don Pramudwinai, and his Cambodian counterpart, Prak Sokhon, have agreed to upgrade small border checkpoints, i.e An Ses, Phnom Dei, Thmor Da and Chub Kokei, to international standard checkpoints. The two ministers have also agreed to open the Stung Bot-Nong Earn international checkpoint and another border checkpoint at O Neng-Banbaray.
Trade exchanges will be a priority for the border as the two sides aim to increase the number of trucks carrying goods across the border, as well as facilitate trade application procedures.
The aim is to increase bilateral trade to $15 billion US in 2020, three times more than the current $5 billion. Currently, about 70% of Thai products exported to Cambodia were transported by road and passed through the Poipet international border checkpoint.
There is also a railway link between Thailand and Cambodia planned for the end of 2016 to increase trade between the two countries.
Advantages of upgrades checkpoints
The aim to open new checkpoints comes after reports show a 15% decrease in the two-way trade volume. Bilateral trade will urge Thai traders to strengthen the quality of products and promote new ones for Cambodia to import. This strategic partnership should be leveraged in order to boost the economic growth of both countries, while the new checkouts should create more trade opportunities in the region.
A version of this appeared in Khmer Times on June 22. Read the full article here.