Construction of the administrative buildings for the Stung Bot-Ban Nong Ian border checkpoint with Thailand is 12 per cent complete, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya.
Sorya affirmed that construction is on schedule and would facilitate cross-border transport and improve transit trade between the two countries, though he did not provide a timeframe for reference.
On June 30, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a delegation comprising a technical working group and ministry representatives to inspect the progress of the buildings in Stung Bot commune, of Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town.
The minister said the inspection aimed to ensure that the plan forges ahead, to deliver a more convenient route for transit, which he analogised as a “blood vessel contributing to the growth of our economy”.
He said construction of the buildings would cost $26.85 million, funded by a loan from the Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (Neda), Thailand’s international development aid agency.
Ministry spokesman Sorya told The Post on June 30 that the project had been affected by an outbreak in Poipet of the novel coronavirus.
He said Chanthol “inspected the progress of the construction and other infrastructure to enable temporary operation at Stung Bot- Ban Nong Ian”.
He noted that the Poipet border crossing notoriously suffers from severe congestion, with scores of trucks ferrying goods queuing to enter into either country.
This, he said, requires the development of new infrastructure at the border for goods and passenger clearance services.
“The Banteay Meanchey Provincial Administration has been working with the Sa Kaeo provincial authorities in Thailand to open it [the checkpoint] temporarily,” Sorya said.
The border checkpoint links Stung Bot to Ban Nong Ian, in Sa Kaeo province’s Aranyaprathet district on the Thai side.
Construction of Highway 3646, which will continue into Thailand from the gate, is 70 per cent complete and scheduled for completion in February, the Bangkok Post reported on May 20 citing the Thai Department of Highways.
The two billion baht ($62 million) road will be 25km long and have two lanes in either direction, the Thai daily said.
According to the Council for the Development of Cambodia, Thailand is among the nine biggest investors in Cambodia, pumping $967.89 million in foreign direct investment into the country between 1994 and the end of the third quarter of 2017.
And more than 1,000 companies from Thailand are registered with the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce, according to Cambodian ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn.
Trade volume between Cambodia and Thailand reached $2.09734 billion in the first quarter of this year, down 21.36 per cent year-on-year, according to statistics from the Thai Department of Foreign Trade.
Cambodia exported $329.54 million worth of goods to Thailand in January-March, down by 48.92 per cent on a yearly basis, and imported $1.7678 billion, down by 12.57 per cent from the year-ago period.