Thai-Cambodian border trade resumes as tension eases

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SA KAEO, Nov 12 – Trade along the Thai-Cambodian border returned to normal today in the aftermath of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict on the Preah Vihear temple land dispute.

Rong Kluea market in Aranyaprathet district of Sa Kaeo province is lively and crowded with shoppers. Thai and Cambodian people say they are satisfied with the court ruling yesterday, and that they believe Thailand and Cambodia trade can now carried on positively.

Yong Yian, a 36 year-old Cambodian importer said the situation was not worrisome anymore. He confirmed that Cambodians who import goods from Thailand feel relieved after the verdict, saying that it is a win-win ruling. He said many Cambodians do not care much about the territorial spats with Thailand, though they pay more attention to bilateral trade.

Metha Lorcharoen-wattanachai, a 56 year-old Thai trader in Rong Klua market, said he viewed  the verdict as balanced and that both sides should let bygones be bygones and look forward to peace and prosperity together.

Currently, the value of Thai exports to Cambodia reached some 30 billion baht annually, and the Rong Kluea Market trade value is as high as 20 million baht per day, he said.