Thailand and Cambodia on June 17 launched direct transport services linking Bangkok and Phnom Penh via the Aranyaprathet-Poipet border crossing.

Thai Transport Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan, Cambodian Public Works and Transport Minister Tram Iv Tek and representatives of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) co-chaired the official opening of the new service.

Initially, the two countries agreed to run 80 buses and trucks per day including 30 buses and 10 trucks from Cambodia and 10 passenger buses and 30 trucks from Thailand to Cambodia .

The two countries have targeted to increase the number of buses and trucks to 500 per day later.

The two ministers also agreed to carry out the plan to connect Thailand ’s Bangkok-Aranyaprathet railway route with Cambodia ’s Poipet-Battambang rail line next year to cut transportation costs and boost trade.

The transport linkages between Thailand and Cambodia are meant to expand to include Vietnamese cities including Ho Chi Minh City in the future. The travel among the three countries will become much easier, thus facilitating socio-economic growth among sub-Mekong nations.-VNA