The president of the Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA) has proposed that the government upgrade the international border checkpoint between Cambodia and Vietnam at Banteay Chakrey in order to accommodate transit cargo and goods from third countries.
CLA President Sin Chanthy said during his visit to the international border gate at Banteay Chakrey that there is great potential in the facilitating of export and import cargo and transit goods both to and from third countries by crossing Vietnam and Cambodia.
“Since there were restrictions across the Bavet international border gate because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a backup of imports and exports,” Chanthy said.
“We are studying the feasibility of another gate, at the Banteay Chakrey international border, which could ease the cargo traffic tie-up at the Bavet international border checkpoint,” he said.
“At present, we are seeing cargo flow in and out of Cambodia and Vietnam through the Banteay Chakrey international border, but it is mostly paddy, vegetables, meat and fish,” Chanthy added.
He said this border gate has not yet been upgraded to handle cargo from third countries. Therefore, he has proposed the government upgrade it into a transit international border gate.
Chanthy added the road should be widened as well because it is too small. More economic activities will require enhancing its workability by widening the road.
Va Simsorya, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said the government has also thought about this initiative. He said there are currently six international border gates between Cambodia and Vietnam, but only the Bavet-Moc Bai border gate allows for regional and international cargo transit from third countries (Thailand, Laos and Myanmar).
“Cambodia has agreed with Vietnam to upgrade some border checkpoints at international border gates, including the one at Banteay Chakrey We have already agreed in principle and signed a MoU [memorandum of understanding], but the procedure to allow for the transit will be decided by the government. We will build the road, administration office, custom and immigration officials,” he added.
From January to July in 2020, Cambodian exports to Vietnam were valued at roughly $592 million, down 7.5 percent on the previous year. Cambodian imports from Vietnam for the same period reached $2.39 billion, a 3.7 percent decrease on the year before, according to figures from the embassy of Vietnam to Cambodia.
As of 2019, trade volume between the countries recorded more than $5.2 billion, an increase of 12 percent compared with 2018. The two governments have committed to increasing trade volume to $5 billion by 2020.
The Cambodian government has plans to build an expressway from Phnom Penh to Svay Rieng province’s Bavet city. A study on the construction of an expressway linking Phnom Penh to Bavet city, at the border with Vietnam, has been completed, said the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT).
The report on the study, conducted by China Railway International Group Co Ltd was presented in a meeting held on Sept 7, 2020, under the chairmanship of Secretary of State at the MPWT So Victor.
Based on the report, there are three options for the expressway construction. According to the ministry, the government will thoroughly study the three options in order to choose the proper one by taking into consideration the social and economic impacts and the construction budget.
The Phnom Penh-Bavet expressway will stretch over 135 kilometres from Phnom Penh, crossing the provinces of Kandal, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng before reaching Bavet city in Svay Rieng province.
Once operational, the expressway will allow a maximum speed of 120 kilometres per hour. The construction of this expressway will facilitate the transportation and transfer of goods across the country from Phnom Penh to the provinces along the road to Svay Rieng, as well as to Vietnam.