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Cambodia, Vietnam seek to promote border trade

Chhut Bunthoeun / Khmer Times Share:
Le Hoai Trung, deputy foreign minister and chairman of the National Border Committee in Vietnam and Secretary of State at the Ministry of Interior Sok Phal signed an agreement after the meeting. Ministry of Interior

Cambodia and Vietnam have now begun working on border checkpoints with the aim to promote cross-border trade exchanges between the countries.

The first-round meeting of the joint working group on Vietnam Cambodia border gates took place last week in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi, where the two countries evaluated the current operation of the border gates.

“The two sides agreed to seek their government’s permission to jointly draft an agreement on border gates designed to reinforce and to promote cross-border trade exchange,” Vietnam’s state run-media outlet reported last week.

“It is necessary to improve and develop the border gates in order to meet the increasing cross-border exchange,” it said, adding the move will contribute to promoting economic, trade, service and investment activities between border provinces.

It noted the meeting agreed to seek ways to develop a system of land border gates in line with the real development situation in each locality as well as in accordance with the law and development plans of each country.

Sok Phal, secretary at the Ministry of Interior and who led the Cambodian delegation attending the meeting, could not be reached for comment on when contacted for more details.

Trade volume between Cambodia and Vietnam is rising steadily. Last year it was valued at $5billion, exceeding the target the two governments aimed for in 2020.

The move comes following Prime Minister Hun Sen call for more special economic zone developments along the Vietnam border when he presided over the launch of the first market in Tboung Khmum province on the shared border with Vietnam – where he also announced plans to build two more markets along the border with Vietnam to boost trade.

“I want to see the establishment of more special economic zones along the Cambodia-Vietnam border – and, with more industrial parks, there will be more foreign direct investment, especially from Vietnam investors looking to invest in our country,” he said.

He said the government is now eying Svay Rieng and Kampot province as potential locations for similar markets. The premier asked local authorities in each province to find land suitable for the projects. “The idea is to develop model markets to increase the flow of Cambodian goods into Vietnam,” Mr Hun Sen said.

The Kingdom is also aiming to open more border gates with Laos and Thailand.

“We are in talks with Laos, Thailand and Vietnam to open additional border gates, boosting trade and bilateral relations with our neighbours,” he added.

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