New Border Checkpoint to Thailand Planned

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Preparations are underway for the construction of a new border checkpoint to Thailand in Banteay Meanchey province, officials said yesterday.
 
After signing a joint agreement to open a new checkpoint last August for the purpose of boosting bilateral trade, Banteay Meanchey authorities sent a letter to Thailand’s Sa Kaeo provincial authority yesterday discussing the plan.
 
Signed by provincial governor Suon Bovor, the letter says the checkpoint will be located near Banteay Meanchey’s 43rd border post, opposite Sa Kaeo province’s Non Mak Mun district.
 
“Now, this new checkpoint hasn’t opened yet,” the letter says. “Therefore, the Banteay Meanchey provincial administration calls on the Sa Kaeo provincial governor to set a date and place to hold a meeting over the issue.”
 
Last August, Interior Minister Sar Kheng and his Thai counterpart, Interior Minister General Anupong Paochinda, held talks in Thailand over bilateral ties and cooperation in the interest of improving trade between the countries. Their discussions included adding at least one new border checkpoint linking the two countries.
 
Cheoun Krai Yong, the chief of Banteay Meanchey’s provincial cabinet, told Khmer Times that infrastructural improvements leading up to the new border’s opening are now almost finished.
 
“As per the master plan, we have now constructed a road and other infrastructure to connect with the Thai road at the border checkpoint when Thailand completes its road,” Mr. Krai Yong said.
 
He added that the new checkpoint will increase the import and export capacities of both Thailand and Cambodia.
 
Cambodia shares an as-yet undefined 803km border with Thailand. About 80 percent of the Kingdom’s 1,270km border with Vietnam to the east has been demarcated.
 
“Previously, we asked the Cambodia-Thailand Joint Border Committee to designate the location of the border checkpoint before beginning its construction,” Mr. Krai Yong said, adding that the next step to opening the checkpoint is constructing buildings such as a customs office, immigration office and a market.
 
“The new checkpoint is expected to be completed this year,” Mr. Krai Yong said.
 
Cambodia-Thai trade was worth $5.14 billion last year – with Thai exports worth more than $4.5 billion and Cambodian exports at $590 million – up from 2013’s $4.5 billion in bilateral trade.

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