Wednesday, 16 February 2011 15:00 Soeun Say
Prime Minister Hun Sen announced yesterday that Thai trucking firms would be allowed to travel 30 kilometres inside Cambodia to fill up loans of agricultural products.
Thai lorries had not been allowed to enter the Kingdom through the Poipet border gate, but would now be able to obtain permission to travel to Cambodia to pick up products, he said.
Previously goods had to be transferred from truck to truck at the border.
The move would boost trade between the two countries, said the Prime Minister.
“Despite the disputed border area, we want [the two countries] to continue cooperating with trade and goods exchange,” he said.
Speaking at the groundbreaking for construction of National Road 59 in Banteay Meanchey province, he said the new allowances would ease trade restrictions.
“To avoid the difficulties of transporting and lifting goods, we will allow [Thai merchants] to go 30 kilometres inside Cambodia to transport Cambodian agricultural products.
“Before, Cambodian farmers sent produce directly to the Thai side,” he said.
National Road 59 is being constructed in the province through a grant provided by the Chinese government.
Yesterday, Hun Sen also confirmed a Thailand trade fair in Phnom Penh would begin on Thursday, with a Thai deputy prime minister in attendance, despite the violent border conflict.
“I will meet them [the Thai businesses] with the Cambodia-Thai Chamber of Commerce. So please take care, and maintain a strong relationship,” he said.
Last week, Thai businesses decided to go ahead with the trade fair, following a safety guarantee from the prime minister.