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Thai border SEZs set for discussion next month

12 Worker at Pailin province

In an effort to boost trade activity between Thailand and Cambodia, both countries will discuss plans for two special economic zones along the Thai-Cambodian border next month, according to the secretary of state at the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.

“It will provide us a lot of benefit,” Long Visalo said after the meeting between the Minster of Foreign Affairs, other relevant ministers and governors from provinces along the Cambodian-Thai border.

The special economic zones will be proposed during the countries’ joint ministerial meeting on June 10-11 in Phnom Penh.

The Bangkok Post on Monday reported Thai foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul as saying that Thailand will propose two special economic zones linking Sa Keo’s Aranyaprathet district in

Thailand and Poipet town in Banteay Meancheay province, and Trat’s Khlong Yai district and Koh Kong province.

Kang Chandararot, director of the Cambodia Institute of Development Study, said that, depending on the type of investment in the potential zones, “bilateral trade will possibly increase”.

He said benefits for Cambodia could come in the form of labour employment and growth in agriculture as well as [the] agro industry.

“Technology and knowhow transfer could be possible,” he said.

Last month the Post reported that trade between Cambodia and Thailand declined by about 2.5 per cent in the first quarter of this year, as the appreciation of the Thai baht led to a slowdown in Thai exports. Total bilateral trade in this year’s first three months reached $1.1 billion, according to the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh.

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