The Vietnamese government yesterday agreed in principle to provide a grant of $2 million to Cambodia to build a model market aimed at boosting cross-border trade between the two countries, officials at Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce said.
The market will be constructed on 1.5 hectares in Kandorl village, in the Memot district of Tbong Khmum province, about 1 kilometre from the nearest Cambodia-Vietnam border crossing, according to Mao Thora, a secretary of state at the ministry.
“The market will be a place to sell both Cambodian and Vietnamese goods, of which I think most of our goods are agricultural products,” he told reporters after the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the project.
“It will play a role to facilitate trade by people living along the market and improve their livelihoods,” he added.
Thora was unable to confirm a construction timeline but said the Vietnamese government would open the project for bids and manage it. Plans are already afoot for a similar market to be built in Kampot province.
Nguyen Cam Tu, deputy minister at Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, said the model market will help both countries exploit the full potential of people living alongside the border.
“When people have better connections to sell their goods to each other, it helps them to earn more money,” he said.
Trade between Cambodia and Vietnam slipped this year after steadily increasing since 2010, according to the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh.
Bilateral trade during the first quarter amounted to $848.7 million, down 11 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier, with Vietnamese exports accounting for 63 per cent of the total.