The construction of a model market in the border with Vietnam will be finished by April, a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce said.
Speaking about the ‘Da Market’ project on the Cambodia-Vietnam border, Mao Thora, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, told Khmer Times that, “Our model market in the border with Vietnam is now around 80 percent complete and will be ready before Khmer New Year.
“We have not yet decided a date for the launch because we want to make sure that everything is finished and running smoothly before we open it,” Mr Thora said.
Called ‘Da Market’ due to its location in Tbaung Khmum province’s Da commune, the new marketplace will occupy an area of more than 19,500 square metres in the Thary Tbaung Khmum Special Economic Zone.
The project broke ground in January last year, with construction initially expected to take 12 months. The project was first proposed in 2013, but was postponed multiple times. In July 2017, Cambodian and Vietnamese officials signed a memorandum of understanding to kick-start the project.
Its cost is estimated at $2 million, which the Vietnamese government has provided in the form of a grant.
The model market will help facilitate trade between Cambodia and Vietnam. It will also play a role in reducing poverty on both sides of the border and help traders build bigger networks, according to Mr Thora.
“Vietnamese traders will mostly sell processed foods, while Cambodia will focus on agricultural products,” he said.
“The market will benefit both sides. Vietnamese traders will be able to purchase Cambodian agricultural products to use as raw materials or they can purchase goods to re-package and export to other countries,” he added.
Vu Quang Minh, the Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia, previously said that the aim of the project is to build up trade infrastructure in the border to promote economic and trade exchanges and raise the living standards of locals.
“Both governments have conducted a lot of research to make this project a reality,” he said. “With its great location, Da Market will boost trading between our nations.”
Mr Quang Minh said it is a place to buy, sell, and transit goods produced in Kratie, Kampong Cham, Ratanakkiri, and Mundulkiri to meet demand in Vietnam. At the same time, he explained, it is a place where people living on the border can do their shopping.