Thailand and Cambodia to boost bilateral trade

Photo: Government House.

Thailand’s commitment to deepen ties with Cambodia has been firmly established, with both nations aiming to boost bilateral trade volume to US$15 billion (551 billion baht) by 2025. This was confirmed by government spokesman, Chai Wacharonke, following a significant meeting between Thailand’s Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, and his Cambodian counterpart, Hun Manet.

The meeting, which took place in Phnom Penh, was part of Srettha’s first official visit to Cambodia. Intended to strengthen leader-to-leader relations, the visit forms part of the PM’s introductory tour of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.

Interestingly, both PM Srettha and PM Hun assumed their prime ministerial roles on the same day, August 22, a fact that served to cement their shared goals and similar leadership directions.

Chai Wacharonke elaborated that both leaders recognise the importance of this juncture in their respective countries’ relations, viewing it as an ideal moment to inaugurate a fresh chapter. The meeting saw the two prime ministers exchanging invitations to visit each other’s countries and commitments to upgrade their strategic partnership.

The key focus of the meeting revolved around the mutual interest of both countries’ populations, particularly the goal of increasing bilateral trade volume to US$15 billion by 2025.

In order to boost growth, both nations agreed to promote further investment cooperation and push for new economies rooted in innovative and cutting-edge technologies. The development of cross-border areas was also discussed, as was the advancement of digital and green economies.

Transport, tourism, SMEs

Further connectivity of supply chains and the promotion of business matching were also agreed upon, with a specific emphasis on supporting small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. As part of these discussions, the upgrading of Thailand-Cambodia border crossing points, the development of rail transport, and the promotion of border tourism were also on the table.

A temporary land transport border pass for travellers without passports was proposed, along with the swift implementation of the Thai-Cambodia Friendship Bridge. Located at Ban Nong Ian village in Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet district, the bridge links with Satung Bot village in Poi Pet on the Cambodian side and its operation is expected to enhance cross-border trade.

Medical and well-being tourism cooperation was also discussed, along with the hosting of the next Joint Boundary Committee meeting by Cambodia, as proposed by PM Srettha. The 61 year old Thai PM was also keen to expedite de-mining efforts along the shared border and to encourage regular visits between officials of security agencies from both countries to better combat trans-border crime and other illegal activities, reported Bangkok Post.

The Thai prime minister also underscored the need to promote human resources and sustainable development. He also expressed Thailand’s readiness to work closely with Cambodia to counter fake news, which could potentially cause misunderstandings between the citizens of both countries.

Following his one-day visit, PM Srettha shared his satisfaction via Facebook and Twitter expressing his gratitude for the warm welcome he received from the Cambodian leader.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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