Vietnamese Trade with Cambodia Reaches US$1.1Billion in 2008

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Mar. 17 – Border trade between Cambodia and Vietnam amounted to US$1.1 billion last year, a sharp increase caused by a bilateral memorandum of understanding on border trade facilitation.

Vietnam's Vice Minister of Industry and Trade, Nguyen Cam Tu, told The Phnom Phen Post: "Presently border trade is getting better … offering a good business climate to people and it will help alleviate poverty during the global economic upheavals."

He added, "Moreover, as border trade increases, infrastructure will also improve and facilitate further business." Despite a bilateral agreement between the two, a lot of paperwork is still necessary at border checkpoints.

"I proposed that the Cambodian government reform its administration to facilitate trade, improve marketplaces and support Vietnamese investors," he said.

An economist at the Cambodian Cooperation and Peace Institute, Chap Sotharith, attributed the increased cross-border trade to political disputes with Thailand that led to Cambodians to cease importing Thai products.

Vietnam issues free visas to Cambodians as opposed to Thailand that remains strict with Cambodians entering the country.

Vietnam's Minister of Industry and Commerce, Vun Huy Haong, told Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen that trade between the two would increase to US$5 billion from 2015 and 2020.