Banteay Meanchey provincial authorities plan to create a new border crossing into Thailand to alleviate heavy traffic at the Poipet International Checkpoint and also offer migrant workers a new, legal passageway into Thailand.
Officials held a meeting at the provincial hall on Monday to discuss opening a new border crossing in Ou Chrov district’s Ou Bei Choan commune.
Currently, there are six government-operated crossings into Thailand within two districts, and Poipet town, in the province.
Dozens of illegal crossings also offer passageway for migrant workers to sneak into the Thailand in search of higher paying jobs.
Deputy governor Ly Sary said the new border crossing will allow Cambodians to enter Thailand via Sakoe province, where many migrants already cross illegally.
“This new border will benefit both Cambodia and Thailand,” he said.
“It will allow for the transportation of goods, workers and alleviate stress on the provinces biggest crossing, Poipet International Checkpoint.”
The plan comes on the heels of an exodus of thousands of illegal workers from the country when the Thai government began a crackdown on illegal foreign workers.
Mr Sary added that authorities plan to build a big road and some infrastructure at the new border crossing.
Suth Hour, an Ou Chrov district public order police officer, said that the new border will not be as big as the international one in Poipet, but would still offer residents in Ou Bei Choan commune a legal option to cross if they could not afford to travel to Poipet.
“Before, workers crossed a road in Ou Bei Choan commune illegally, and now the government wants to create this new legal border to make it easy and safe for residents to cross into Thailand.”
Sim Samnage, a villager in Ou Bei Chon commune, said that some villagers who wished to cross to Thailand legally had travel to the Poipet border but now, villagers are hopeful that the new border in Oi Bei Chon commune will eliminate that burden.