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Closed crossings to hit local commerce

Closed crossings to hit local commerce

TWO international border crossings with Thailand have been closed in northwest Cambodia following violent clashes nearby, which local merchants complain has disrupted trade.

Neth Dara, director of the Choam international border crossing in Banteay Meancheay province, said yesterday the gate had been ordered closed by Thai authorities, with nothing moving in or out following nearby clashes on April 22.

“Closing the gates has severely affected Cambodians and Thais who do business with each other, and blocked the transportation of goods,” he said.

Oddar Meancheay province’s O’smach border crossing has also been closed, according to Dy Phen, Director of the Cambodia-Thailand Border Relations Office located in Poipet.

“The conflict not only hits Cambodians, but also Thais, because Thailand imports more goods to Cambodia than Cambodia to Thailand,” he said.

He raised the possibility of Cambodia searching for other export markets if the crossings stay shut.

Seng Rorng, an Oddar Meancheay province merchant who imports fruits from Thailand, said she has been forced to suspend her business following the closing of the border.

“I ask for mutual reconciliation from both countries, because it would be very difficult for people from the two areas to move away,” she said.

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