Prime Minister Hun Manet has urged his Thai counterpart to expand the import market for Cambodian agricultural products, while private sector representatives have advocated for a cross-border trade agreement that will facilitate increased commerce between the neighbouring nations.

According to a September 29 press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, during his official visit, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expressed his commitment to increasing economic and trade cooperation with Cambodia.

Manet and Srettha also noted the importance of agricultural knowledge sharing between the two countries’ farmers. In the field of corn, Srettha suggested that all aspects including quality

are considered and not just the harvested end product in trade, whereas Manet proposed a broader market for Cambodian agricultural goods.

The press release highlighted that the two sides shared commitment to increasing trade volume and mutual investment. It also urged relevant authorities to expedite negotiations on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the transit of goods between the two nations, addressing issues related to third-country transit.

Both leaders agreed to task their officials with leveraging existing mechanisms effectively and exploring opportunities to boost cross-border trade, with the aim of achieving a $15 billion trade target by 2025.

Lim Heng, vice-president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC), urged the two countries to establish a border trade facilitation agreement, explaining that this would simplify the process of exporting agricultural products. He noted that a cross-border trade agreement is more comprehensive than a cross-border goods MoU, a practice Cambodia has previously undertaken with Vietnam but not yet with Thailand or Laos.

“Cambodia’s trade volume with Thailand has the potential to be substantial if the leaders can accelerate the finalisation of an MoU regarding the transit of goods between the two nations. I urge both sides to enhance cross-border trade agreements,” he added.

He also noted that Thailand’s unilateral border closures have also had a negative impact, impeding the movement of goods, people and tourists between the two nations.