A border trade agreement signed between Cambodia and Vietnam on November 8 last year. The development of border trade between the two countries is one of the key strategies to boost economic ties. The agreement is expected to improve the livelihoods of people living along the border in both nations.

Ministry of Commerce spokesman Penn Sovicheat highlighted the importance of the trade agreement to Cambodia.

The Post sat down with Sovicheat to discuss the progress of the agreement.

With the entry into force of the Cambodia-Vietnam border trade agreement, what do you think will be the positive results to the economies and trade of the two neighbouring countries?

Upon entry into force, the Border Trade Agreement between the Cambodian and Vietnamese governments will contribute to the implementation of strategies that will further strengthen business connections and promote partnerships, trade, market diversification and the import and export of goods between the two countries.

It will also provide business opportunities to boost investment, and promote and improve the livelihoods of Cambodians along the Cambodian-Vietnamese border.

Additional benefits that Cambodia will receive from the agreement include the transfer of technology, knowledge, know-how and new skills from foreign direct investment, as well as the creation of new jobs in the border region.

I expect that imports and exports between the two sides will increase, especially as the agreement will facilitate the export of agricultural products from Cambodia to Vietnam. The agreement covers many areas of cross-border trade, including warehouse rental, freight forwarding, transport, processing and storage of goods, as well as banking and financial services.

It will also improve cooperation in preventing and cracking down on smuggling and fraud, and protect the well-being of the public, by guaranteeing the quality of goods such as vegetables, fruit and meat, as well as reducing net migration, as per the government’s policy.

Overall, the agreement will facilitate cross-border trade between the two countries in a way that better promotes economic development.

What is the current state of trade relations between Cambodia and Vietnam?

At present, the bilateral trade partnership between Cambodia and Vietnam is in good condition. Exports and imports, especially of agricultural products, have increased significantly.

The commerce ministry has been making efforts to guarantee the interests, rights and freedoms of citizens and traders along the border. It established the necessary frameworks and conditions for cross-border trade, as well as the promotion of connectivity, the creation of new markets and increased cross-border trade activities. We have also facilitated the entry and exit of traders and residents alike.

How important is cross-border trade in this area?

Border trade is very important. The development of trade between the Cambodia and Vietnam is one of the government’s key strategies to boost economic and trade ties and further strengthen the friendly relations between the two countries. It will improve the livelihoods of people along the borders, and offer mutually benefits to both economies.

The commerce ministry intends to cooperate closely with all of the relevant government institutions to ensure that the agreement is implemented effectively.