Cambodia, Thailand to open joint trade zones

cambodia factory workerCambodia and Thailand on June 12 agreed to boost bilateral trade and investment by establishing two special economic zones along their shared border, the Phnom Penh Post reported. Both countries will also push for the construction of a 1,800 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Koh Kong province.

The two ASEAN nations also agreed to develop new routes between the countries, set up a project to help Cambodian farmers export rice to Thailand at fair prices, and to establish new checkpoints along the border in Preah Vihear, Battambang, Pursat and Oddar Meanchey provinces.

No details of what would be built, traded or developed in the special economic zones were released so far.

The two countries alsoe agreed to increase cooperation in tourism, healthcare and anti-human trafficking across the border, referring to Cambodian workers who were tricked to go abroad by brokers and saddled with debt.

Exports from Cambodia to Thailand were $102 million in the first quarter of 2013 compared with 85 million in the same period 2012. Imports from Thailand declined 4 per cent, from $1.048 billion to $1 billion in the same time period.

Cambodia imports mainly include petroleum, processed goods, cement, consumer products, construction materials, fruits, vegetables and cosmetics from its northern neighbour. It ships agricultural products, second hand garments, recyclable metal and fish to Thailand.