hai-Cambodian Joint Trade Committee agrees to set up special economic border zone

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BANGKOK, May 20 – The Thai-Cambodian Joint Trade Committee (JTC) on Sunday agreed to set up special economic border zones, aiming to increase trade volume by 30% annually, said Thai Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom.

Mr Boonsong met his Cambodian counterpart Cham Prasidhat for the third Joint Trade Committee (JTC) in Bangkok.

The Thai commerce minister said he would assign the permanent secretary for commerce and the director general of the department of trade negotiations to speed up the task, which will also bolster trade along the border.

The special economic zones could be initiated in Surin, Si Sa Ket, Ubon Ratchathani and Buriram.  Such cooperation could be later expanded for other neighbouring countries.

Thailand and Cambodia also agreed to establish a joint rice mill and trade federation to boost food security, as both countries are net exporters of rice.

Similar federations for other groups of farmers growing tapioca and corn will be set up later to allow Thailand and its neighbouring country to better negotiate with trade partners in East Asia and in other regions.

Mr Boonsong affirmed that Thai –Cambodian relation was going smoothly and past strains were probably caused by misunderstanding. From now on, it will improve in a positive direction.

Last year, Thai-Cambodian trade was recorded at about 90 billion baht and will exceed 100 billion baht if both countries can increase trade volume by 30 percent as targeted in the agreement.  More Thai investors started business in Cambodia in 2011, a report said.