BANGKOK, Dec 26 – Thailand and Cambodia today agreed to facilitate communication, travel, trade and cooperation between their countries, Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said.
Mr Surapong and his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong co-chaired the 8th Thai-Cambodian Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation which both parties described as a mechanism in enhancing relationship between the two countries and cooperating in various aspects.
They agreed to speed up a management plan to open permanent border crossings at Ban Nong Eiang in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province and Stung Bot in Cambodia’s Banteay Meanchey province to make it more convenient to expand investment and transport goods across the border.
There will be a joint survey for new checkpoints at Ban None Mark Moon in Sa Kaeo and Ban Prai Chan in Banteay Meanchey, he said, adding that the issue of illegally cutting Siamese rosewood was also discussed, with agreement to set up a committee to provide a durable solution of the problem.
The meeting agreed to implement a single visa, effective tomorrow, under the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS).
ACMECS is a cooperation framework among Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam to use member countries’ diverse strengths and to promote balanced development in the sub-region.
Mr Surapong said the bilateral agreement for a single visa will be a precedent for other ACMECS countries.
He said Thailand will assist Cambodia conduct feasibility studies on building roads and the Klong Luek-Poipet railway to facilitate goods transport and travel across the border.
Managing migrant workers in Thailand and deporting convicts from the two countries was also discussed, he added.
Mr Hor Namhong hailed the results of the meeting and said that the improved Thai-Cambodian relationship has boosted the trade volume to US$2 billion this year.
He said both countries look forward to a 30 per cent increased trade each year.
The Cambodian foreign minister expressed deep gratitude to HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for extending assistance to Kampong Chetien College and appreciation to the Thai government for granting employment licences to more than 200,000 Cambodian workers.