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Cross-border highways vital for bilateral trade

Sum Manet / Khmer Times Share:

Cambodia and Thailand are keen to be better connected by cross-border highways to boost bilateral economic growth, said an official in the Thai Embassy yesterday.
“The Thai government sees the importance of promoting logistics by road links especially for bilateral trade, and has a policy to promote basic infrastructure, transportation of goods and the provision of services in accordance with international standards that will benefit both countries,” said Jirawuth Suwanna-arj, minister counsellor office of commercial affairs at the embassy.
“Trade between Thailand and Cambodia is increasing and is expected to keep growing. Because of this, it is important to improve logistics and open new overland routes for the transport of goods,” said Mr Jirawuth.
Sin Chanthy, president of the Cambodia Freight Forwarders Association, said that logistical links between Cambodian and Thailand were good.
“Connectivity exists and over the years it has been strengthened by Thailand and Cambodia issuing vehicle permits for cross-border transport,” Mr Chanthy said.
“This has led to faster delivery of goods to customers on both sides of the common border.”
Mr Chanthy said the cross-border logistics services include transporting machinery and parts and components as well as managing supply chain functions, from sourcing through to distribution.
“Within the Asean highway network, there are 13 highways connecting Thailand with its neighbours, the highest number among the Asean bloc,” he pointed out.
The major highways linking Thailand to other Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries are routes within the “East-West Economic Corridor”, “North-South Economic Corridor” and the “Southern Economic Corridor”. These corridors form the backbone of the GMS transportation infrastructure.
Thongyu Khongkhant, chairman of the Land Transport Federation of Thailand, said the road corridors in the GMS are vital for intra-border trade for the CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) and also Thailand.
“The increased level of manufacturing activities and the growing consumer markets in the GMS are fostering trade between Thailand and its GMS neighbours,” Mr Thongyu said.
“Cross-border trade by road has also become an important part of Thailand’s logistics industry.”
Thailand and Cambodia share 798 kilometres of border, with six border-crossing points currently in operation. There are also 100 kilometres of road running parallel to the border on the Cambodian side.

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