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Thais remove cassava and maize import restrictions

Thais remove cassava and maize import restrictions

7 H.E Boon Song Teriyapirom and H.E Cham Prasidh

In order to boost the Kingdom’s trade performance and improve the quality of lives of farmers along the Thai-Cambodia border, Thailand has agreed to remove import restrictions on Cambodian cassava and maize.

Speaking to reporters after the forth meeting of the Joint Trade Committee between Cambodia and Thailand yesterday, Cambodian Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh said the committee aims to develop greater economic relations and bilateral trade between the two countries, targeting a 30 per cent increase of trade activity per annum.

“Thailand agreed to release many import restrictions for Cambodia’s export of cassava and maize,” Prasidh told reporters. “Alongside this, we will also strengthen co-operation, boosting trade of other agricultural products, especially rice, along the border.”

According to export data from the ministry of commerce, Cambodia exported 20,443 tonnes of maize to Thailand in 2012, down 42 per cent from 35,381 a year earlier. Despite this downturn the Kingdom’s total Cassava exports jumped by 160 per cent in 2012 to 722,273 tonnes from 2011.

According to information from the joint trade committee, Thailand ranked second in terms of trading partners with Cambodia, while Cambodia ranked eighth with Thailand among trade with countries in the ASEAN bloc.

Boonsong Teriyapirom, minister of commerce of the Kingdom of Thailand reiterated the importance of the process of ASEAN economic integration, in particular tariff and non-tariff liberation, saying that this will boost more bilateral trade across the border.

“We would like to strengthen the good relations among each other to enhance trade and investment,” he said.

While the two parties were able to establish the major agreement on co-operation on the import and export of agricultural products, they also discussed co-operation on the promotion and facilitation of tourism as well as agreement on facilitation within the food processing industry.

While this was the fourth meeting of the Thai-Cambodia joint trade committee, it was at the third meeting in May last year that they had previously agreed to set the bilateral trade target of a 30 per cent increase per year from 2012 to 2015.

Cambodia’s exports to Thailand last year were valued at $252 million, while Thailand’s exports to Cambodia were worth $3,786 million.

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