Takeo provincial authorities are in talks with their Vietnamese counterparts to allow Cambodians to transport paddy to Vietnam through the Bak Dey border checkpoint in Takeo’s Angkor Borei district.

The talks have come about as the result of vocal discontent from some Cambodians in the area who complained that the checkpoint is only allowing Vietnamese imports of groceries into Cambodia with no trade flowing in the other direction.

Prom Bunthan, director of the Bak Dey border checkpoint, told The Post on March 25 that the provincial and Angkor Borei district administration and the border authorities were in talks with the Vietnamese side to address the issue.

“Paddy can be exported through Phnom Den international border checkpoint and the Kampong Krasaing bilateral border area. Bak Dey is currently a corridor checkpoint where Vietnam allows only some specific kind of goods. For paddy, they require that it goes through two other checkpoints,” he said.

He said the authorities are trying to negotiate with Vietnam to reach an understanding that would allow paddy exports through this checkpoint, perhaps by implementing increased Covid-19 health measures there.

Separately, a group of around 10 Cambodian paddy exporters stopped two Vietnamese cargo boats when they reached Cambodia on March 24 and demanded that Vietnam open its gate to allow them to export their paddy before they would allow the boats to pass.

Bunthan said it was Vietnam’s prerogative as to whether to turn this border gate into one approved for paddy to pass through. The discussions had achieved no results so far.

Angkor Borei district governor Dim Kimsan said he had negotiated with the Vietnamese side several times already about opening this gate so Cambodians can export paddy during the harvest month but the Vietnamese required more documents from the exporters.

“Vietnamese goods that go through Cambodian checkpoints all pay their taxes properly. But the paddy that our people intended to export to Vietnam lacked a Certificate of Origin. Vietnam requires this document,” he said.