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Indonesia flight link discussed by leaders

Cambodia's and Indonesia’s leaders have expressed their intent to establish a direct flight between the two nations to boost trade and tourism, state-owned television station TVK reported on Wednesday.

TVK – which accompanied the Cambodian delegation at the World Economic Forum East Asia in Jakarta early this week – reported that Prime Minister Hun Sen and Indonesian President Joko Widodo discussed the flight during a meeting after the forum. The initiative was raised by Widodo, with Hun Sen agreeing to support it, TVK reported, although no specifics on when it might occur were given.

“We must encourage discussions between the foreign affairs ministries of both countries to have that direct flight,” Hun Sen was quoted as saying.

Indonesia’s trade with Cambodia remains small, and so is the number of its tourists to the Kingdom. Last year, Indonesia ranked as the 18th largest source of tourists to the Kingdom, with 35,655 visitors, according the Ministry of Tourism.

Ho Vandy, co-chair of the Government-Private Sector Working Group on tourism, said that Indonesian national carrier Garuda Airlines signed an MoU with Cambodia three years ago, but nothing had materialised.

Vandy added that if the discussions help make the flight happen, the results would be positive. But he said it was still too early to tell.

“We still do not know how detailed the discussions are.”

Trade between the two countries, meanwhile, ranked at around $600 million last year, Hun Sen said at the forum.

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