Cambodia has called on Thailand to fully open the temporary Stung Bot-Ban Nong Ian International Checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey province, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya told The Post on Tuesday.
At full operation, the checkpoint will facilitate the shipment of goods as Poipet International Checkpoint cannot meet the current demand, Sorya said.
He said the Kingdom raised the proposal during a Monday meeting between General Department of Public Works director-general Heng Rathpiseth and Thai Department of Highways deputy director-general for engineering Apichart Juntarasup.
“The Thailand delegation accepted our proposal. But they asked for a 12 month period for preparing the infrastructure,” Sorya said.
He said the checkpoint will help boost economic growth, trade and investment between Cambodia and Thailand. “It will help facilitate exports and imports, and will also reduce traffic congestion at Poipet International Checkpoint.”
Chhour Vichet, the CEO of Sanco Cambo Investment Group Co Ltd, which has more than 80ha in Poipet town near the Cambodian-Thai border, told The Post on Tuesday that the new international checkpoint will play an important role for shipping goods between the two countries.
“We are currently facing traffic congestion at Poipet International Checkpoint. It is very crowded, and if the new one is opened it will facilitate transportation.
“I think it can be opened earlier because the bridge and road has been completed and could be used for shipping goods,” Vichet said.
Cambodian Ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn told The Post earlier this month that the Kingdom mainly exports agricultural products to Thailand, such as rice, corn, soybeans, cassava, cashew nuts and mangoes.
It imports crude oil, machinery, electronic equipment, construction materials, cosmetics and home appliances, he noted.
“I am very optimistic about trade relations with Thailand since bilateral trade is increasing every year,” he said.
The Thai embassy said bilateral trade between the two kingdoms was worth some $9 billion last year, up 7.14 per cent from 2018’s $8.4 billion.