Businesses and government officials from border provinces in Cambodia and Thailand signed 31 deals in Siem Reap last week, in a bid to increase contract farming agreements and boost cross-border trade, according to the provincial chamber of business.
More than 90 Cambodian and 50 Thai businesses partook in a business matchmaking event last week, resulting in nearly $60 million in trade deals, including agreements for contract farming of cassava, cashew and mangoes, according to Thai state media outlet National News Bureau of Thailand.
Around $4 million or 18 deals were reached to increase trade of cosmetics products, hotels and tourism, and milk.
According to Bun Hark, director of the administrative office at Siem Reap-Oddar Meanchey Chamber of Commerce, similar meetings have been organised for three years in an attempt to increase trade between the bordering provinces, with this year’s meeting being particularly fruitful.
“I am happy that this kind of meeting has been held between Cambodia and Thai businesses,” Hark said.
“It helps businesses in the two countries to find potential partner.
As the result, it creates increased business activities and trading.”
The Thai delegates were from Surin, Buriram, Chaiyaphum and three other border provinces, whereas officials and businesses from Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Oddar Meanchey, Steung Treng and Preah Vihear represented Cambodian interests.
The two groups also agreed to invest in an air-conditioned bus service from Chong Chom in Thailand to Siem Reap in Cambodia.
The bus services is expected to facilitate Cambodian visitors going to the Amazing Surin Elephant Round Up, a cultural festival held in Thailand’s Surin province.
Overall trade volume between Cambodia and Thailand was $5.1 billion in 2014, an 11 per cent increase from the $4.6 billion in 2013, according to data released in May by the Thai Embassy’s trade office.
Cambodian outbound exports to Thailand doubled to $261 million for the first quarter this year, a jump of $134 million from the same period in 2014.
Favourable trade conditions and competitive pricing of products were cited as the reasons for this increase.