NSC to review permanent border checkpoint with Cambodia

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The National Security Council (NSC) will thoroughly examine the trade benefits and security concerns surrounding a proposed new permanent border checkpoint with Cambodia, according to a senior official.

Police in Trat province are advocating for Ban Tha Sen in Mueang district to be established as a permanent checkpoint following Cabinet approval, pending NSC support.

Ban Tha Sen borders Phothisat province in Cambodia. Currently, the crossing operates three days a week to facilitate local border trade but lacks official checkpoint status.

The Ministry of Commerce is keen to transform the pass into a gateway for transporting goods to Phothisat, which has a population of 330,000, and even to Phnom Penh, approximately 230 kilometres from the border.

An obstacle to the plan is border conflicts, a visiting NSC delegation led by deputy secretary-general Woranat Khongmuang was informed n Thursday, July 4. A marine unit responsible for the area briefed the delegation that Cambodia had constructed structures, including parts of a casino and residential quarters, encroaching on Thai soil at 18 locations at Ban Tha Sen.

Thai police have lodged protests with both local Cambodian police and the Phnom Penh government, the marine officers reported.

The border casino complex in Cambodia was built by Chinese investors, and about 2,000 Chinese nationals are residing in the area, according to Thai security police.

Woranat stated that the NSC would assess the situation, including the resolution of border encroachments, before making a recommendation on the future of the crossing. The NSC will evaluate all aspects of the proposal to ensure it benefits trade and security.

The outcome of this evaluation will determine whether Ban Tha Sen becomes a permanent checkpoint, potentially enhancing trade routes and economic ties between Thailand and Cambodia, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, Khon Kaen Sugar Industry Plc (KSL), Thailand’s third-largest sugar producer, has withdrawn its investment in the Cambodian market due to unfavourable business conditions, marking a significant setback in its regional expansion plans.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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