Goods are transported across the Cambodia-Vietnam border at Bavet town in Svay Rieng province in 2010. Reuters
CAMBODIAN and Vietnamese officials held a groundbreaking ceremony at the border in Kampong Cham province last week to celebrate the start of the construction of what will be the first market in the region to facilitate cross-border trade.
An official said the new market near the border gateway in Kampong Cham province’s Memot district would be a good location for the stocking and distribution goods and would enhance trade with Vietnam.
Both governments pledged to raise two-way trade to $5 billion by 2015. Data from the Association of Vietnamese Investors in Cambodia in 2012 showed there were 124 investment projects worth $2.5 billion.
Chheang Chhay, deputy director of Kampong Cham province’s Commercial Department, said the new market will be run by the Cambodian government, but Vietnam had pledged over $1 million for its construction.
Although work on the 1,600-square-metre market had begun, he did not give an exact date for when work would be completed or details of goods that would be stored there.
He said according to Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh the gateway will be upgraded into an international border point in the future, allowing for the cross-border movement of goods. “When it is upgraded to an international checkpoint, illegal or unlicensed goods will be checked in accordance with the law,” he said.
Most of the goods currently transported through the gateway are cassava and other agricultural products. Tourists will use the paved road to cross the border when the gateway becomes an international crossing.
Peng Kouy, a pepper farmer and trader based near the new market, said the area was quiet without a market. “Even though [the market will be] completed, it will not be successful in the short term because the site is so quiet,” he said. “At this time, it is so quiet we cannot sell [our goods].”
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