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New border crossing set to make trade easier

New border crossing set to make trade easier

Planning for the Stung Bot checkpoint on the Thai border is almost finalised, with the construction of new infrastructure to support trade facilitation to be completed by the end of 2018, officials said yesterday.

Vasim Sorya, the director general of administration at the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, said development of the border crossing, connecting Nong Ian in Thailand’s Sa Kaew province to Stung Bot in Banteay Meancheay provinces on the Cambodian side, would include new roads linking the checkpoint to National Road 5 and National Road 58.

“We will hold another meeting again Monday next week to get the master plan finalised. The construction is expected to start end of this year and finish in three years,” he said.

The Thai government will build a bridge connecting both sides, while Cambodia’s government will seek $45 million in funding from Thailand to build the road connections and an administration building for customs at Stung Bot, Sorya added.

The Stung Bot checkpoint, with its focus on trade, will help to ease congestion at the Poipet crossing, said Kor Sumsaroeut, governor of Bantey Meanchey province.

“The traffic at Poipet check point is too crowded,” he said. “[Stung Bot] will make trading between the two countries easier too.”

Poipet, located just 7 kilometres from the new Stung Bot checkpoint, is considered the main international check point for tourists crossing to Siem Reap. Close to 2,000 tourists and more than 300 trucks transporting goods cross at Poipet every day, according to Sumsaroeut.

“Cambodian agricultural products will easily flow into the Thai market while products can be transported in and outside of Cambodia much quicker,” he said of the new border crossing.

Nguon Meng Tech, director general of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, yesterday welcomed the new trade route.

“The two countries will be able to transport goods with each other easier and faster. It will save time for businesses and tourists while also reducing the risk of traffic accident,” he said.

The Cambodian and Thai governments have been in talks on the new border gate since 2010.

Currently, there are six international check points between Cambodia and Thailand. They are located in the Cambodian provinces of Koh Kong, Pailin, Oddar Meanchey and Banteay Meanchey.

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