Newly minted commerce minister Cham Nimul will lead a delegation from her ministry and the Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA) to inspect trade on the Cambodian-Vietnamese border on October 5.

The visit aims to get a clear perspective of cross-border trade, according to CLA president Sin Chanthy.

He explained that the tour would be a vital opportunity to learn more about shipping activities and the challenges of border transportation, and would provide a chance to devise solutions.

Chanthy said the logistics, transportation and trade sectors are indispensable and closely related.

“For this reason, the new commerce minister is paying close attention to these particular areas,” he said, noting that shipping costs in Cambodia are higher than in several other countries.

“The upcoming visit is to demonstrate cross-border transport activities and common challenges.

“The minister will be able to issue resolutions and also hear requests from officials – and the private sector – at border crossings,” he said.

He said the CLA plans to accompany Nimul to the border areas of other neighbouring countries in the near future, in order to provide detailed information about the current situation on the ground there.

Ministry undersecretary of state and spokesman Penn Sovicheat explained that parts of Vietnam form a development triangle area with the northeastern provinces of Cambodia, and are also home to important border crossings, so it is important that the minister inspects the areas as soon as possible.

“[Nimul’s] visit will strengthen trade practices and trade facilitation. It is aimed at increasing the size of our economy, bilaterally,” he said.

He noted Cambodia has several bilateral and transit goods agreements with Vietnam – along with several economic and trade practices under the umbrella of the development triangle – which have been boosting bilateral trade between the two countries from year to year.

According to a report by the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE), in the first eight months of 2023, Cambodia’s trade volume with Vietnam reached more than $4.2 billion, a slight increase of about 1.4 per cent year-on-year.

Exports to Vietnam reached more than $1.853 billion, up 26 per cent, while imports hit $2.444 billion, down nearly 12 per cent from the first eight months of 2022.