Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Commerce returns as border gates with Thailand re-open

Commerce returns as border gates with Thailand re-open

Commerce returns as border gates with Thailand re-open

THAI authorities have reopened the O’Smach and Choam international checkpoints in Oddar Meancheay province, allowing bilateral trade to resume through the crossings, according to local Cambodian officials.

The gates had been closed following the start of violent clashes between Cambodia and Thailand on April 22.

O’Smach crossing deputy director Nhuy Cheang said yesterday the gate had been reopened at 10:22 in the morning.

“The people of both countries are very pleased, and they are going in and out, running their business,” he said.

“Some are setting up their booths [across the border] to sell their goods, and casinos are reopening too.”

The reopening of the gate came following negotiations between regional military commanders from the two sides, he added.

Choam crossing director Neth Dara said the gate had been opened at 1:39 yesterday afternoon.

Residents were returning to the area, and commerce ought to pick up again by Thursday, he said.

Neth Dara had said on April 25 that local cross-border commerce had been halted by the closure of the border. Loem Heng, owner of Royal Hill Casino located near the O’Smach crossing, said the casino had reopened after a halt when the Thai authorities closed the border.

“Yesterday morning the gate reopened, so I opened the casino,” he said. He declined to reveal the number of guests who had visited the casino yesterday.

Poipet crossing had seen a drop in tourists following April’s outbreak of hostilities, but local officials have confirmed the crossing itself was unaffected.

Some 62,651 visitors entered Cambodia through the Banteay Meancheay province checkpoint in April, down from 75,636 in March, figures provided by immigration authorities show.

Leak Romnea, chief of Poipet checkpoint’s Administration Officer, said on Monday that the sudden decline was due to the ongoing Thai-Cambodia border clashes, but added the crossing had remained open.
In an April 27 speech, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the Kingdom could turn to other markets beside Thailand for imports.

“If Thailand closes the border, Cambodia will stop purchasing all goods from Thailand,” he said in the speech at Phnom Penh’s Peace Palace.


  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release