(Posted by CAAI News Media)
ARANYAPRATHET, Nov 7 (TNA) -- Most Cambodian traders are now accepting cash only from their Thai counterparts as they closely monitor tensions between the two neighbouring countries after ambassadors have been recalled following the appointment of convicted former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as economic adviser by the Cambodian government.
Thai Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot Saturday visited the key border district of Aranyaprathet and found that border trade was still lively as more than 9,000 Cambodian traders crossed the border for trading purposes or for employment at Thai firms.
However, most of the Cambodian traders would not offer credit to Thais traders but would accept only cash.
On the contrary, the number of Thai gamblers who usually cross to the casinos in the Cambodian border town of Poi Pet, opposite Aranyaprathet--usually more than 5,000 on typical weekend day--fell sharply Saturday due to concerns over the political situation. Less than 1,000 gamblers went there on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Santi Villassakdanon, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), speaking in Pattaya resort that most Thai businessmen operating in Cambodia worry that if the situation worsens, cross-border trade could close.
Cross-border trade between the two countries now accounts for about 80 per cent of the total trade amounting to approximately Bt40 billion annually.
Governments of the two countries must quickly negotiate to settle the dispute so that the private sector would not be affected, said Mr Santi.
In the northeastern province of Buri Ram bordering Cambodia, Ratchapol Tranakyos, chairman of the Buri Ram Chamber of Commerce, said the trade and tourism businesses between the two countries had already been affected as tourists were not confident of their safety, while traders slowed their purchases.
Mr Ratchapol said attempts by the Buri Ram chamber to open a permanent border checkpoint in Ban Kruat district aimed at boosting trade and investment would now have to be delayed until diplomatic relations between the two countries are restored. (TNA)