THAILAND and Cambodia have agreed to strengthen ties in trade, investment, and other forms of cooperation, aiming for double-digit annual growth in bilateral trade from now on.
The agreement was struck at the fifth meeting of the Thai-Cambodian Joint Trade Committee held in Bangkok last week, co-chaired by Thai Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn and Cambodian Senior Minister of Commerce Sun Chanthol.
Apiradi said that over the past few years, trade with Cambodia had continued to grow strongly despite the economic slowdown.
However, both Thailand and Cambodia recognised that there was still tremendous room for the growth of trade and investment between the two countries, particularly after the Asean Economic Community is fully implemented by the end of this month.
Thailand reaffirmed its intention to import more products from Cambodia to improve the trade imbalance between the two countries, since Cambodia faces a trade deficit with the Kingdom.
Both sides will strengthen cooperation in exploring ways and means to expand trade and investment, particularly border trade, which has contributed significantly to trade between the two countries.
Cambodian also acknowledged Thailand’s proposal on economic cooperation between the two nations’ border provinces. Cambodia will also consider Thailand’s proposal on the establishment of a Thailand-Cambodia Joint Expert Group on Border Trade to discuss in detail the growth strategy and will respond to Thailand by the first quarter of 2016.
Both sides also agreed to accelerate the finalisation of the two memoranda of understanding on the exchange of traffic rights for cross-border transport under the initial implementation of the Cross-Border Transport Agree-ment to expand the vehicle quota, and bilateral negotiations on the Agreement on Road Transport between the two nations.
In a bid to create economic and logistic connectivity as well as expand production chains, both sides will support the Joint Working Group on Special Economic Zone Development between Thailand and Cambodia. This aims to establish linkages between the special economic zone in Sa Kaew province and Cambodia’s Banteay Meanchey province and between the SEZ in Trat province and Cambodia’s Koh Kong province.
Moreover, they will strengthen cooperation in marketing activities to support the “Two Kingdoms, One Destination” concept under an MoU between Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism on Tourism Cooperation.
In addition, Cambodia expressed its interest in Thailand’s Weaving Street Project, which aims to promote local weaving and the local economies in many areas of the country such as Surin and Buri Ram provinces. The two sides agreed to further discussions on linking this project between the two countries.
Foreseeing the importance of human-resources development to make the Greater Mekong Subregion countries the core of the Asian Value Chain Network, Thailand will support capacity building to Cambodian officials in the country’s areas of interest such as e-commerce.