TRADERS from provinces with borders adjoining Laos and Vietnam opened a trade fair Saturday in the Rattanakiri provincial capital, Banlung, aimed at further cementing economic ties.
The event featured 93 booths from 46 companies based in Rattanakiri, Mondulkiri, Stung Treng and Kratie provinces, along with companies from four provinces across the border in Laos and five from Vietnam. In addition, Banlung played host to a Triangle Development Areas conference attended by 250 delegations from the three neighbouring countries.
“We are holding the conference … to draw private-sector as well as development partners to help us,” Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh said Sunday.
Souksavanh Vilayvong, a Laotian trade promotion officer, told the Post he had brought many products over the border on what was his first visit to the exhibition, the fifth time it has been held.
“We are very close now because roads have improved,” he said, adding that he was actively seeking Cambodian partners for export.
Phu Doc, a processed-food vendor from Ang Yang province in Vietnam, said she had visited Cambodian trade fairs previously, but had never before sold her own items to visitors.
“They like our products a lot because we offer affordable prices and good quality,” she said.
Bilateral trade with Vietnam suffered an 18.7 percent slide to $1.332 billion last year due to the economic crisis, while trade with Laos rose 4 percent from a tiny base to just $274,780, according to official figures.