A new customs and immigration terminal is planned at the Poipet International Border Gate in Banteay Meanchey province, on the Cambodian side of the common border with Thailand, to cater to an expected increase of foreign tourists when the railway linking both countries is completed by the end of the year, said Minister of Tourism Thong Khon on Wednesday.
According to Mr. Khon’s Facebook posting, the new terminal will be built early next year and the plans have already been approved by relevant ministries and government departments.
Officials at the Tourism Ministry could not be reached for comment yesterday.
However, Ngo Meng Chroun, governor of Poipet City, said the new terminal will facilitate the crossing of train and bus passengers, and tourists.
While Mr. Meng Chroun declined to reveal construction plans of the new terminal, he said that it would facilitate the checking of passports and related travel documents.
“Tourists would be able to cross the border faster and enter Cambodia,” he told Khmer Times.
Travel by train between Thailand and Cambodia will start when the 6.5-kilometer cross-border railway is completed by the year’s end linking Poipet City in Banteay Meanchey province to neighboring Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province. The 6.5-kilometer railway line is funded by the Asian Development Bank.
On the Thai side, the State Railway of Thailand is refurbishing the track from Aranyaprathet station in Sa Kaeo province to the border at Ban Khlong Luek, which is opposite Poipet.
Ho Vandy, secretary-general of Cambodia’s National Tourism Alliance, welcomed the move and said that the new customs and immigration terminal will encourage more tourists to use the Poipet land crossing to enter Cambodia.
According to the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh, in 2015 about 70 percent of products imported from Thailand to Cambodia passed through the Poipet International Border Gate.
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