Siem Reap provincial authorities have shared their support for the opening of a Thai consulate in Siem Reap town by the middle of 2024.

They noted that they expect the new office to strengthen collaboration between the two kingdoms, while accelerating the province’s development.

Siem Reap provincial governor Prak Sophoan met with Thai ambassador to Cambodia Cherdkiat Atthakor on February 19 to discuss the work. 

During the meeting, Sophoan offered a warm welcome to the proposed consulate, sharing his belief that it would deepen the bonds of friendship between the two countries, according to the governor’s social media post.

“I offer my full support for the plan to open a Thai consulate in Siem Reap. It will enhance our efforts to unite and strengthen bilateral cooperation, while boosting developmental assistance between us. This will promote the further growth of the province,” he said.

Ly Vannak, chief of administration at the provincial hall, supported the Thai proposal, noting that it will not only cater to the requirements of Thai tourists who visit the province, but will make it easier for Cambodians to communicate with Thai authorities about entrance and exit documents.

“One advantage of opening the consulate is that many Thai tourists enter Cambodia through the Poipet border crossing [in neighbouring Banteay Meanchey province], or the Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport [SAI]. If they require assistance or support from their government, they will soon be able to access it in Siem Reap. This will make Siem Reap even more attractive as a destination for them,” he said on February 21.

He pointed out that the consulate will also make it easier for tourists from other countries who need to apply for visas to visit Thailand. They will no longer have to travel to Phnom Penh, but will be able to apply at the consulate in Siem Reap.

Mam Rithy, president of the Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers Federation, believes that the opening of the proposed consulate would be an excellent move, owing to Siem Reap’s proximity to the provinces bordering Thailand such as Banteay Meanchey.

“I think the opening of a consulate in Siem Reap is really good. Cambodian and Thai people would no longer need to travel so far for documents. It would make it easier for people to enter and exit Thailand, and save time and money for many migrant workers,” he added. 

He noted that when two counties have their respective consulates close to the borders, it is easier for foreign visitors to travel between them.

To date, four nations have established consulates in Siem Reap: South Korea, China, Japan and Canada.