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Border upgrade to boost trade with Thailand

Border upgrade to boost trade with Thailand

The government will upgrade the Thma Da checkpoint in Pursat province into an international border to facilitate cross border trade with Thailand, a move expected to achieve $15 billion in trade between the two ASEAN neighbours.

According to a letter from the Office of the Council of Ministers submitted to the ministries of Interior; National Defence; and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the move comes as a response to a recommendation by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

He made the recommendation during the inauguration of National Road 55 in March.

Opening the gate could help the countries attain their goal of reaching $15 billion in trade by the end of the year, he said. Bilateral trade between the two countries was worth $9 billion last year – up 7.14 per cent from 2018’s $8.4 billion.

“Trade with Thailand is growing rapidly. By opening the international border gate, we could boost trade and also help the tourism sector. It would be beneficial for both nations,” said Hun Sen.

The checkpoint is located in Veal Veng district’s Thma Da commune and borders Thailand’s Chamrak sub-district in Trat province. Once part of the Angkor Empire, the province is known in Khmer as Trach.

Pursat provincial governor Mao Thornin said the restoration of National Road 10, which is a key road for the trade, is 26.53 per cent complete and will be finished in December 2023.

Cambodia mainly exports agricultural products to Thailand, including rice, corn, soybeans, cassava, cashew nuts and mangoes while it imports petroleum, cooking oil, machinery, electronic equipment, construction materials, cosmetics and home appliances from Thailand.

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