The Minister of Public Works and Transport Ministry (MPWT) is urging companies to speed up the construction of a goods transit terminal at Cambodia’s Banteay Meanchey-Thai border gate, Stung Bot-Ban Nong Ian, to facilitate cross-border trade.
Sun Chanthol, the MPWT’s minister, made the push while leading the ministry’s delegation to inspect the progress of the border infrastructure construction.
Stung Bot border gate’s infrastructure projects, including the administration building, border checkpoint building, dormitory building, goods transit terminal, warehouse and container yard are 5 percent complete. The projects are scheduled to be completed in the next 21 months.
The more than $26.89 million infrastructure projects, which are being constructed under a loan project of the Neighbouring Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA), will take 24 months to complete.
The projects were conceived by Thai-owned company CM Grand Development Co Ltd and Tan Kim Eng Co Ltd under the auspices of a technical inspection by Team Consulting Engineering and Management Plc, according to MPWT.
Minister Sun Chanthol said that the purpose of the mission was to review the technical progress of construction and to urge both the construction company and technical consultants to gear up the development and comply with the technical standards set out in the contract.
“It should be noted that the opening of the border crossing at Stung Bot-Ban Nong Ean will open up a wide range of opportunities for international cooperation, investment, cross-border trade, job creation and attracting tourists to boost the family economy and society of both nations,” he said.
Chanthol said the implementation of this project was delayed for two months by the COVID-19 pandemic and the rainy season.
“However, the president of the construction company has pledged his commitment to complete the project on schedule,” he added.
The minister at the same time has asked for discussions with the Thai Minister of Transport to find out more about the procedures to open the Stung Bot port temporarily to facilitate the transportation of goods across the border while Poipet is being used for the entry of tourists.
Sin Chanthy, president of The Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA), said that Stung Bot-Ban Nong Ian border gate will help reduce traffic congestion at the Poipet international border gate.
“Because both passenger and goods transportation currently are made via Poipet it causes traffic congestion so the governments of both countries have cooperated to open this gate for goods transportation while Poipet will be used for tourism only,” he said.
Chanthy said the border gate will not only boost the trade volume between Cambodia and Thailand, it will also help facilitate international cooperation with Cambodia as well.
“With this gate we could use Thai Laem Chabang seaport to send our goods to the international markets because the cost of transportation is cheaper,” he said.
Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Thailand was worth some $9 billion in 2019, up 7.14 percent from $8.4 billion in 2018 with a goal set at $15 billion in 2020, according to data from the Royal Thai embassy in Phnom Penh.
The development of Cambodia’s cross-border infrastructure and the separation of traffic at the border checkpoints are urgently needed by the Cambodian Government, which has unveiled plans to improve facilities at border gates with Thailand and Vietnam in order to ease cross-border transport and boost trade activities.
The government said it is also focusing on the renovation of infrastructure at the Bavet-Moc Bai international border checkpoint in Svay Rieng province to implement a one-window service at the border.