Cambodia, Thailand discuss border reopening to recover economy hinh anh 1Poipet International Border Gate between Cambodia's Banteay Meanchey and Thailand's Sa Kaeo. (Photo: Khmer Times)

Phnom Penh (VNA) –
Cambodia and Thailand have discussed the possibility to reopen international border gates to lift the economic deadlock caused by travel restriction measures to curb the COVID-19 spread.

The discussion took place in Bangkok on June 30 afternoon between Cambodian Ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn and Chairman of Thailand-Cambodia Business Council Chanitr Charnchainarong.

Ambassador Ouk Sophorn said that both sides will propose the governments of the two countries first reopen the Poipet-Khlong Luek international border gate between Cambodia’s Banteay Meanchey province and Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province with limited number of entries per day.

This move will make it easier for Cambodian tourists seeking medical services in Thailand and Thai businessmen who aim to enter Cambodia for business and investment, he said.

The two sides also planned to request the reopening of other international border checkpoints in order to promote bilateral tourism and trade flows and restore the economy of the two countries, he added.

Book Laychy, director of Banteay Meanchey’s commerce department, said that some Cambodian agriculture products are stuck because Thailand allows export and import products only in Oddor Meanchey province and the Poipet-Khlong Luk International Checkpoint to open for normal goods while the remaining borders are closed.

He said the Cambodian authorities and Thai counterparts will have another meeting on July 10.

Thailand reopenedits land border checkpoints with all neighbouring countries on July 1 to resume cross-border cargo transport and trading. The opening of 37 checkpoints on the borders with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia is part of the Phase-5 easing of Thailand’s lockdown measures against the pandemic, which also includes permission for some groups of foreigners to enter the country by air.

Data from the Thai Ministry of Commerce shows that the Thailand-Cambodia trade reached 3.1 billion USD in the first four months of this year, up 18.3 percent from a year earlier./.