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Trade to continue as normal

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Vietnam temporarily banned the movement of people across its shared border with Cambodia. Heng Chivoan

Trade to continue as normal

Although controls have been tightened due to the new coronavirus, trade between Cambodia and Vietnam continues, with the countries aiming to achieve $5 billion in trade by the end of the year, a Vietnamese official has confirmed.

An official at the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Post that Vietnam has restricted the movement of people across the border with Cambodia to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, but trade between the nations continues.

He said: “When it comes to trade, it is business as usual. Vietnamese and Cambodian officials will work together to make sure all these measures are implemented efficiently.

“However, a drop in trade volume cannot be avoided because the pandemic is going to affect economic activity at a global level.

“To combat the effect on the economy by the virus, Vietnam has prepared a trade promotion plan to recover economically as soon as Covid-19 subsides. Trade between the two nations will recover soon.”

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Vietnamese Ambassador Minh Quang Vu said stricter checks are being carried out at the border. The ambassador also said foreigners are not allowed to enter Vietnam during the next 30 days. The ban does not apply to diplomats.

He said mandatory quarantine at designated facilities has been expanded to include entrants from the US, the EU and Asean countries.

Minh said the measures aim to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Wednesday issued a statement requesting the Vietnamese government to implement stricter travel restrictions for Vietnamese while leaving the border open for the exchange of goods.

“Cambodia proposes that the two countries work together to facilitate and ensure that the transport of goods across the common border can be carried out without disruption,” the letter said.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said the measures by the Vietnamese government will have a significant impact on the tourism sector. “Trade won’t be significantly affected. The most significant impact will be on the tourism sector.”

Leaders of the two countries have pledged to achieve $5 billion in trade a year by the end of the year.

Data from the Vietnam Embassy said last year’s trade reached $4.7 billion, an increase of 23.8 per cent from 2017.

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