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Thai border crossings eased

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Cambodian and Thai officials discuss border reopening at a meeting in Bangkok. Royal Cambodian Embassy

Thai border crossings eased

The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders.

The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

The announcement came after Cambodian and Thai officials held a meeting on the same day to discuss the possibility of reopening borders to help their economies.

Those allowed to enter Thailand include Thai nationals, visitors with embassy permission, consular officers, government and NGO representatives, and foreigners who have business to conduct in Thailand, such as merchants.

Visitors with spouses or parents in Thailand, students enrolled in Thai schools, and foreigners who need health checks may enter, but those who test positive for Covid-19 will be barred, said the announcement.

The Wednesday meeting at the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok was attended by Cambodian ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn and chairman of the Thai-Cambodia Business Council Chanit Chan Chhay Naron.

According to the Cambodian Embassy in Thailand’s Facebook page, the meeting was held to discuss the opening of the Poipet international checkpoint near Banteay Meanchey (Cambodia) and Sa Kaeo (Thailand).

The border openings would allow Cambodians who need health checks to enter Thailand for one day. Likewise, Thai businesspeople would be allowed to enter Cambodia for a day.

If the border openings prove successful, both parties will request the opening of other border checkpoints such as those in O’ Smach in Oddar Meanchey province, Doung in Battambang province and Cham Yeam in Koh Kong province.

The openings would encourage tourism and trade between the two countries as well as boost the economies, according to the Cambodian embassy.

Thai embassy officials could not be reached for comment about the possibility of opening important international checkpoints.

A Xinhua News Agency report published on Monday said a spokesman for Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), Visanuyothin, said the CCSA decided to open 37 border checkpoints with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.

The CCSA said there are 14 border checkpoints with Laos, eight with Myanmar, seven with Cambodia and eight with Malaysia.

According to data from the Thai Ministry of Commerce, in the first four months of this year, bilateral trade between Cambodia and Thailand reached $3.1 billion, an increase of 18.3 per cent over the same period last year.

Of that total, exports to Thailand accounted for $687 million, a 106 per cent increase from last year, while Thai imports accounted for $2.4 billion, a 5.6 per cent increase.

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