Cambodia has been requested to consider enhancing infrastructure connectivity and improving transport corridors by the Lao ministry of public works and transport. The effort aims to further enhance the flow of goods and tourism between the two countries.

The proposal was put forward at a bilateral working meeting last weekend in Laos between Cambodian public works minister Peng Ponea and his Lao counterpart Ngampasong Muongmany.

According to a November 13 Facebook post from the ministry, the Lao minister urged Cambodia to consider enhancing infrastructure connectivity and improving transport corridors.

“The proposal aims to improve and contribute to the economic, social and cultural development within both bilateral and regional frameworks,” he was quoted as saying in the post.

Ponea acknowledged the critical importance of infrastructure interlinking between the two countries.

“Overall, the [connection] between [us] is vitally important for socio-economic development and aligns with the Comprehensive Intermodal Transport and Logistics Master Plan (CIT-MP) 2023-2033, recently approved by the government,” he said.

Ky Sereyvath, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s Institute of China Studies, stated on November 13 that the country plans to connect a high-speed rail line from China through Laos, proposing to expedite Laos’ infrastructure connectivity, which is now a major economic flow for Cambodia.

“We know that Cambodian ports will play a crucial role in transiting goods to Laos overland, as its lacks sea borders. This presents an opportunity for Cambodia to facilitate trade with Laos and further relations,” he noted.

He added that trade optimisation in the border area between the two countries is also vital in boosting mutual trade and giving the country more chances to purchase hydropower from Laos at a more reasonable price.

The ministry noted that the meeting between the transport ministers also aimed to foster continuing and expanding general cooperation, particularly in implementing projects beneficial to the people of both nations.

The Cambodian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) stated in February that bilateral trade volume between the two countries increased from $160 million in 2021 to $210 million in 2022.