Choam Ksan district authority in Preah Vihear province imposed an import ban on Thursday on goods from Thailand after the country declared a similar ban on goods imported from Cambodia through the Anses international border checkpoint.
Choam Ksan district governor Chea Kimseng told The Post on Thursday that before announcing the ban, Cambodia had tried to approach Thai authorities several times for their reasons, but to no avail.
He said Thailand imposed the ban on 23 types of Cambodian goods including pumpkins, garlic, red onions, chopping boards, pestle and mortars and torches.
“I’ve contacted Thai authorities from district to provincial levels, but they just said they were too busy with important meetings to explain or negotiate with us at this time. They asked us to wait until January 9,” he said.
Kimseng said he had consulted Preah Vihear provincial governor Un Chanda before making the move.
“If Thailand bans people from importing Cambodian goods to their country, we also respond in kind by banning our people from importing Thai goods to Cambodia. However, the Anses border checkpoint will remain open for people of both countries to get in and out,” he said.
Kimseng said the ban on Thai goods include poultry, fruits and vegetables. He said the ban will be lifted after negotiation between the two parties.
“Cambodian authorities know the ban would have a negative effect on the livelihood of people from both countries. But if we do not ban Thai imports, it would be unfair for Cambodian vendors, especially our farmers,” he said.
Kimseng said Thai authorities imposed the ban early this year, allegedly after Cambodian vendors brought garlic and red onion from Cambodia to sell in the Thai market.
The Anses international border checkpoint is located in Choam Ksan district’s Choam Ksan commune, bordering Thailand’s Nam Yuen district in Ubon Ratchathani province.