Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia eyes Laos trade

Cambodia eyes Laos trade

Cambodia eyes Laos trade

11 Cambodia Laos Border gate

Cambodia has set up a Joint Trade Commission (JTC) with Laos in order to boost cross-border trade, according to an official who attended the meeting held last week.

Mao Thora, secretary of state for the Ministry of Commerce, said Cambodian and Lao officials agreed to establish the JTC, a body which Cambodia used to use with Thailand, in order to accelerate the economy across the border. However, the actual date of finalising the JTC has not yet been confirmed.

“It is a bilateral agreement with Laos, and we need to talk more with the government before finishing,” he said, adding that some trade regulations need to comply with ASEAN and WTO regulations, and as the countries shared a border, other work needs to be done between the two countries through the commission.

“We start discussing now and the next step is that we will sign agreements,” he said, adding that “it is important for the neighbouring countries, who have some issues differing from ASEAN or WTO”.

He said that for neighbouring countries, there are some bilateral needs, such as a ban on smuggling and the establishment of border markets in order to push
development.

He said that bilateral trade with Laos is not yet on a large scale – now about $10 million per year – but after the establishment of the commission, it will accelerate the setting up of markets along the border.

Mao Thora said that so far, Cambodia has only the one international border gateway, Trapeang Kreal, in Stung Treng Province, which shares a border with Laos’s Dong Kralor, and it will be a priority to develop it and other areas.

He said Cambodia had originally set up the commission with Thailand many years ago, but the improvements suggested by this commission were banned after the conflict over the Preah Vihear temple complex.

Yam Lang, the vice-president and branch manager at ACLEDA Bank, said that the initiative was good for future development at the border, because there would be more trade activity after the establishment of the commission.

“It will make the border economy good, it is a good idea,” he said.

Mon Ta, the owner of the Chap Ha Restaurant in Stung Treng province, said she had sold food there for 20 years and she noted that Stung Treng has not had many people travelling except during national holidays such as Pchum Ben or the Khmer New Year.

“I used to sell food at the border, but there are not many people crossing,” she said, adding that “I think it will be better if officials set up a market”, Mon Ta told the Post yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth

  • Western poll flak is ‘pressure to take the Kingdom hostage’

    After last month’s national elections brought praise for the orderly manner they were run and managed, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman Sok Eysan dismissed criticism from the West as a “violation of the Kingdom’s independence”. He said the attitude of