COMMERCE Minister Cham Prasidh has urged Cambodia and Vietnam to begin planning for a model market on the border, which officials from both countries say will help facilitate crossborder trade and improve prosperity in border provinces.
"I am calling on the committee to study two potential locations: Peam Chor district in Prey Veng province and Thari Economic Zone near the checkpoint in Kampong Cham's Memot district," Cham Prasidh said at the second meeting on the development of border trade cooperation Monday. "After the study is completed, I will confirm with our Vietnamese counterparts immediately during ... April," he said.
Cham Prasidh also proposed that both sides hold discussions on market infrastructure management, trade payment mechanisms and the principle of cross-border trade settlement in order to continue developing cross-border trade.
Keo Soknay, a secretary of state at the ministry, said that although it had not yet sent an in-depth plan to Vietnam, both sides had already toured the sites. Prey Veng would encompass 37,595 square metres, he added.
Vu Huy Hoang, Vietnam's minister of industry and trade, said such initiatives were important for the two neighbours to develop their economies and improve standards of living.
Cham Prasidh said that the Kingdom is confident the trade gap with Vietnam would be "reduced soon". He said that Cambodia exported an estimated US$200 million in goods to Vietnam in 2008, while importing over $1 billion.