Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Border closure can cost Bt20-Bt30 mn a month

via CAAI

By The Nation

Damage of at least Bt20-Bt30 million is estimated if the Thai-Cambodian border trade is shut down for a month, said Siripong Angkasakulkiat, president of Si Sa Ket Chamber of Commerce.

He said that the border closure would affect border trade, tourism and export-import activities, referring to the estimate jointly concluded with the Thai Chamber of Commerce and University of Thai Chamber of Commerce.

"This is the worst in the 10-year round," he said. "It stems from two issues concerning the Preah Vihear and political one. On the first issue, there should be no problem if both sides can work out a joint management plan. The more worrisome issue is politics. Most politicians usually forget how their words could disturb the public," he said.

Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot noted that the prolonged fighting could hurt trade, investment and tourism. He noted that if the fighting escalates and leads to the permanent closures of border check points, this could affect the bilateral trade which is valued at Bt81 billion.

According to the ministry, Thailand exported Bt74 billion to Cambodia while Cambodia exports Bt6.86 billion to Thailand.

Checkpoints along the Thai-Cambodian border are located in Si Sa Ket, Surin and Sa Kaew.

He said that there has been no report on the impact on the Thai investment in Cambodia.

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