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Edging closer to a cross-border rail deal

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
A train crosses the Cambodian countryside. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodia and Thailand are both reviewing draft agreements for a deal on the transportation of goods and people across their shared border, a Cambodian official said, adding that the final agreement is likely to be signed before the end of the year.

The railway systems of both countries have already been unofficially connected, but to begin transporting goods and people across the border, the countries must first reach an agreement on cross-border rail transportation.

Ly Borin, under-secretary of state of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, told Khmer Times that officials from both countries have already submitted draft agreements on cross-border rail transportation to their respective ministries.

“The Thais are now awaiting the approval on the draft agreement. Once this happens, our prime ministers can go ahead and sign the final agreement, which I think will happen before the end of 2018,” Mr Borin said.

The western rail line, which covers 386 kilometres, is part of a wider railway project that will connect Singapore with Kunming in Southern China, according to Sun Chanthol, the Cambodian Transport Minister.

Trade between Cambodia and Thailand was value at $6 million last year. Cambodian exports to Thailand were worth $900 million.

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