The Thai Chamber of Commerce recently visited Cambodia, seeking to bolster trade, investment and business ties. Their aim was to deepen bilateral cooperation and to further explore trade and investment opportunities in the country.

This revelation came from a statement issued after a meeting on August 15 between commerce minister Pan Sorasak and the Thai delegation, led by Voratat Tantimongkolsuk.

“During the visit, our delegation plans to explore the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone, Koh Kong and Preah Sihanouk province. We aim to understand trade and investment opportunities and also to seek potential business partners,” said Voratat.

He added that the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) has been collaborating closely with the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) to strengthen investments between the two countries.

Sorasak welcomed the delegation to explore business opportunities in the country.

“Cambodia has achieved strong economic growth in recent years, becoming a magnet for global investors. The country has drawn significant investments from nations such as China, Japan, Korea, the US, the UK and other ASEAN countries,” he said.

Sorasak also emphasised Cambodia’s business allure, mentioning the nation’s bilateral free trade agreements with countries like China, Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

“Cambodia offers long-term growth opportunities in diverse sectors and boasts key attractions like strategic location, a young workforce and expansive markets through GSP [Generalised System Preferences] and bilateral free trade agreements,” he said.

The minister also noted that these interactions serve as an excellent platform for discussing and cementing trade and investment prospects that benefit both nations.

Commenting on the significance of the visit, Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng viewed it as an indicator of continued political stability and economic growth in Cambodia post-election, especially considering Thailand’s membership in the ASEAN Economic Community.

“This is a good opportunity for Thailand to assess the viability of investing in Cambodia. We’re gearing up for it by reforming our internal economy and introducing new investment laws,” he said.

However, Heng called on both countries to swiftly draft a cross-border trade agreement to minimise potential disruptions, especially for traders and transactions along their shared border.

If Cambodia secures a cross-border trade agreement with Thailand, it could significantly boost the economic exchange between the two nations, says a senior official.

In 2022, trade between Cambodia and Thailand surpassed $4.6 billion.

Breaking down these figures, Cambodia’s exports to Thailand reached over $409 million, while Thailand’s exports to Cambodia totalled $3.8 billion.

The first half of this year alone has seen a bilateral trade volume of over $1.9 billion, according to the ministry.

During their latest meeting, Cambodia expressed its readiness to open its doors to Thai businesspeople.

The aim is mutual economic gain. Furthermore, Cambodia is unwavering in its dedication to nurture and expand its amicable relations and collaborative endeavours across various sectors with Thailand, officials said.