Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to open three new border checkpoints to facilitate trade and the movement of people across the border, according to Thailand’s ambassador to Cambodia.
The new border gates will open in the next few months, Ambassador Panyarak Poolthup said yesterday during a meeting in Phnom Penh with Heng Sarin, the president of Cambodia’s National Assembly.
“Three new border checkpoints will open soon in line with the agreement between the Cambodian and Thai governments to boost bilateral trade,” Mr Panayarak said.
The ambassador did not specify locations for the announced border gates.
The proposed border checkpoints will boost bilateral trade, particularly in agricultural goods, according to Seang Thay, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce.
“Opening more border gates with neighbouring countries will improve the transportation of goods and reduce costs,” he said.
Pech Vannak, director of the Cambodian-Thailand Border Relation Affairs Office, told Khmer Times he was unaware of the Thai ambassador’s announcement, but pointed out that two new border checkpoints are in the pipeline for Banteay Meanchey province.
“I’m only aware of two border checkpoints – one in Ou Chrov district and one in Stung Bot in Poipet city. They have been approved by the authorities in Cambodia and in Thailand, but construction has not started yet.”
The Chey Chumneas border gate in Pursat province will be renovated and upgraded to an international checkpoint, Mr Vannak added.
In a bid to triple bilateral trade and reach $15 billion by 2020, in February this year leaders of both nations agreed to establish a working group to tackle trade issues.
Last year, trade between the countries was valued at $6 billion, 10 percent higher than the year before. Cambodian exports to Thailand were worth $900 million.