March 24, 2011
Thailand will hold a large trade exhibition here in May in order to boost bilateral trade cooperation despite ongoing military confrontation between the two countries in the disputed border areas near the 11th century Preah Vihear temple, said Thai ambassador on Thursday.
During a farewell meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, the outgoing Thai ambassador Prasas Prasasvinitchai said that the expo will help to boost closer trade ties between the two countries and Thai commerce minister Porntiva Nakasai will attend it.
Meanwhile, Hun Sen expressed his support for the expo and encouraged more cooperation between Cambodia and Thailand on other sectors even though the two countries have border conflict.
Jiranan Wongmongkol, director of the Thai embassy's Foreign Trade Promotion Office in Phnom Penh, said, "Every year, we just hold one trade expo here, but this year, we do twice because Thailand is committed to strengthening and expanding trade cooperation with its neighboring Cambodia."
She added that the Thai product expo on May 19-22 at Phnom Penh' s Diamond Island Exhibition Center will be larger than the one held in February.
There will be 300 Thai companies displaying a variety of products ranging from consumer goods, foodstuffs, drinks, construction materials, household utensils, leather-made products, school stationeries and cosmetics, she said.
Bilateral trades between Cambodia and Thailand mounted to 2.54 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, up 54 percent from 1.65 billion U.S. dollars in a year earlier, she said.
Cambodia and Thailand have had border conflict just a week after Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was enlisted as World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008.
The latest clashes on Feb. 4-7 this year unleashed a barrage of artillery shells on both sides of the border, which had killed and injured many people of both sides, and caused tens of thousands of the two countries' villagers nearby the disputed areas to escape for safe shelters.