BANGKOK, Feb 19 -- As an ongoing four-day Thailand Trade Fair being held in Phnom Penh now is running successfully, businessmen of the two countries have also agreed on enlarging trade and investment between them believing that clashes at the disputed border between soldiers of their countries should be solved by their respective governments, said a leading Thai businessman Saturday.
Niyom Waiyaratchapanich, deputy chairman of Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) and also committee chairman of TCC’s international trade promotion, said leading businessmen of the two countries agreed during Thursday’s business summit, held for the first time by the two nations, that they would propose to their governments in issuing ‘Thai-Cambodian Business Card’ to facilitate businessmen in crossing the border of each country to do business.
Under the scheme, a special passage at the border will be arranged for the cardholders to pass through, saving time off immigration procedures, Mr Niyom said.
They also agreed that an SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) clinic should be set up in both countries to encourage new Thai investors to invest in infrastructure and tourism ventures in Cambodia, proposing both Bangkok and Phnom Penh governments extend contract farming while Thai farming experts would provide know-how to Cambodian farmers, enlarging logistics networks, increasing trucks carrying goods to 150 daily from 40 now and launching bus facilities between the two countries.
“Businessmen of the two countries didn’t raise the border problem for discussion during the meeting as they believed that the issue could be settled by their governments,” Mr Niyom said.
With the two-way trade in 2010 valued about Bt81 billion, up 20 per cent from the previous year, the Thai government-run National Intelligence Agency said in its report last month that trade value between the two countries in 2011 could be almost equal last year’s if no border checkpoints are closed due to clashes at the border.
Thailand is now ranked 14th in terms of largest foreign investment in Cambodia, as businessmen in this country have already invested in more than 80 projects, with total investments of over US$363 million.
Thai Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot, who also attended the trade fair which ends Sunday, opined that the summit proposed that a similar trade fair be organised in each country every two months due to the success of the ongoing fair in Phnom Penh. (MCOT online news)