11 July 2024

Thailand and Cambodia have agreed to open a new era in their relationship, to move both countries in a similar direction, said Thai government spokesman Chai Wacharonke.

The decision was made during today’s (Thursday) official visit by Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to Phnom Penh, at the invitation of his Cambodian counterpart Hun Manet. Both Srettha and Hun Manet became prime ministers of their respective countries on August 22this ye ar.

Chai said that, when they met today, they congratulated each other on their appointments. Srettha and Hun Manet then co-chaired the meeting, during which they agreed to boost bilateral relations and cooperation at all levels in trade and diplomacy and between the peoples of both countries.

“Both prime ministers emphasised the close relationship between the countries and that it is now a suitable time for both to begin a new era of mutual ties,” Chai said. Cambodia is the first Asean country Srettha visited since becoming prime minister.

In economic cooperation, they vowed to increase bilateral tourism, investment, border area development and the “new economy” sector.

“Both countries will push efforts to increase the volume of mutual trade to US$1.5 billion within 2025. They will increase border transportation with the opening of the Thai-Cambodian Friendship Bridge, linking Ban Nong Ian in Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet district with Cambodia’s Ban Stung Bot in Oddar Meanchey district,” Chai said.

There will be the establishment of a business network, the upgrading of border checkpoints and cooperation in setting up a Green Digital Economy Platform.

Srettha proposed that both nations increase cooperation on medical and health tourism and that Cambodia re-introduce temporary border passes to support border tourism.

Srettha has proposed that Cambodia hosts the next meeting of the Joint Boundary Committee (JBC), to increase border trade volume.

“The Thai prime minister believes that both countries should speed up demining along the border, so that the area can be developed into an economic zone,” according to Chai.

 

He also called for both countries to work together to eradicate scam operations along the Thai-Cambodian border.

After the meeting, Srettha officially handed over the transit and reception centre for victims of trafficking and other vulnerable groups at Poipet, Banteay Meanchey province of Cambodia.