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Cambodia, Thailand vow to boost trade ties despite border spat

English.news.cn   2013-04-22 21:00:24            

PHNOM PENH, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia and Thailand agreed on Monday to further promote bilateral trade, investment and tourism despite ongoing border dispute, Cambodian Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh said.

"We're trying to increase our bilateral trade and economic ties regardless of border conflict," he told reporters after the 4th meeting of Cambodia-Thailand joint trade committee, which was attended by Thai Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom.

"If there is no tension on the border, we expect bilateral trade between Cambodia and Thailand to increase by 35 percent this year."

Cham Prasidh said the bilateral trade was valued at 3.8 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 40 percent year-on-year thanks to the two governments' better relations and cooperation.

Meanwhile, both sides said that the process of economic integration in ASEAN, in particular tariff and non-tariff liberalization, trade facilitation measures as well as implementation of Cambodia-Thailand trade and investment plan of action 2012-2015 had contributed to the increase in bilateral trade.

The meeting agreed that in order to facilitate tourists to visit the two countries, Cambodia and Thailand will promote public awareness on the implementation of Single Visa for Cambodia and Thailand.

The two neighbors have had sporadic border conflicts over territorial dispute since the UNESCO approved Cambodia's Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site in 2008.

Deadly clashes between the two countries' troops happened in February and April 2011 over ownership of 4.6 square kilometers near the temple.

However, military tensions have eased since ex-Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's Pheu Thai Party won a general election in August 2011.

Last week, the two countries delivered their oral statements on the dispute to the International Court of Justice in the Hague and the court is expected to issue a verdict later this year.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Monday that whatever the court's decision would be, Cambodia and Thailand would not become enemies because Cambodia and Thailand were like tongue and teeth.

Editor: Hou Qiang
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