Cambodian border trade still brisk

Growth continues in exports to Cambodia of automobiles, motorcycles, sugar, textiles, and cosmetics and imports of agricultural products, minerals and wood.

border trade

The photo above is of young Cambodian children and their push-carts carrying goods and farm products across the border at the Aranyaprathet checkpoint near Bangkok.

Though it may not contribute much to official trade statistics, this kind of trade is essential to the livelihoods of many lower-income people who live along the border.

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THAILAND-CAMBODIA CONFLICT: Business community seeks quick fix to clashes by Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Phusadee Arunmas and Parista Yuthamanop


Businesspeople are calling for a quick resolution to border disputes with Cambodia, warning that continued clashes will hurt border trade and bilateral investment sentiment...

Border trade so far affected only slightly.

...According to the Commerce Ministry, border trade between Thailand and Cambodia last year totalled 55.41 billion baht, up 22.1% from a year earlier, with Thai exports making 51.11 billion baht and imports 4.29 billion, up 72.3%.

Despite sporadic border disputes, Thai-Cambodian border trade keeps rising, up 14.3% between January and March to 16.1 billion baht, including 14.54 billion baht in Thai exports, up 8.9%.

Major exports from Thailand include automobiles, motorcycles, sugar, fabrics and textiles, and cosmetics, while imports are mainly agricultural products, minerals and wood. Thailand also exports fruits and vegetables, food and sugar to Vietnam through Cambodia.

Border trade with Cambodia takes place mainly through Sa Kaeo and Trat provinces, representing up to 90% of the total between the neighbours.

Apart from border trade, Thailand last year invested 31 million baht through the Cambodia Investment Board, where it ranked 15th. Taiwan, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Malaysia were the top investors in the country.

From 1994 to 2009, Thailand invested in 81 projects in Cambodia totalling $226.59 million or 7.02 billion baht. Nine projects are hotels worth 4.29 billion baht, followed by investments in the agricultural industry worth 4.35 billion, and garment and textile ventures worth 221 million.

Thai-Cambodian border trade currently represents only 7.1% of total border trade between Thailand and neighbouring countries, while the trade values in the conflict areas in Surin and Si Sa Ket make up 0.2% of total border trade, " said Commerce Minister Porntiva Nakasai. "Border trade is therefore unlikely to be affected if the clashes are limited only to the two provinces"...

(Source: Bangkok Post, THAILAND-CAMBODIA CONFLICT, Business community seeks quick fix to clashes, 27/04/2011, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Phusadee Arunmas and Parista Yuthamanop, link

conflict - an angry disagreement between people or groups ความขัดแย้ง, ความไม่ลงรอยกัน, การต่อสู้, ความขัดแย้ง

business community - all the the businesses in a country, a city or a region
quick fix -  some action that can be take quickly to solve a problem
trade - the buying and selling of goods การค้าขาย
trade statistics - official numbers collected and published by the government that describe what goods and how much goods are being bought and sold between countries
brisk - moving quickly

Aranyaprathet - the closest Cambodian border town to Bangkok (only 3 hours away), day tourists now travel to the border town for its markets and casinos, foreign tourists travel to the town to extend their visas in so-called "visa-runs", formerly the important train and border stop between Bangkok and Phnom Penh before the Khmer Rouge seized power in 1975 (See Wikipedia)

livelihood - some activity such as a job or a small business that provides you with the money you need to live and support your family การดำรงชีวิต, การครองชีพ, การดำรงชีพ, ทางดำรงชีพ, หากิน, การเลี้ยงชีพ
push-cart - a small vehicle or cart that you push along my hand, also "pushcart" รถเข็น
checkpoint -  a place along the border of two countries, where goods and people are checked and inspected before being allowed to enter the country ด่านตรวจ, จุดตรวจสอบ

X calling for Y -
group or person X is asking for action Y to be taken

resolution (noun) - the solving of a problem
resolve (verb) - to solve a problem
resolve a problem - solve a problem

dispute - a disagreement or argument between two groups or people
clash - a fight between two groups or people
resolve dispute - solve and end a disagreement or argument between two groups or people
resolution to a dispute - the act of solving a dispute

border - the official line separating two areas, regions or countries เขตแดน อาณาเขต
bilateral - involving two groups or countries สองข้าง, เกี่ยวกับกลุ่มทางการเมืองสองกลุ่ม
investment - taking your money and putting it into projects to make a profit or earn interest (buying stock shares, bonds, real estate)
sentiment - a thought, opinion or idea based on a feeling about a situation, or a way of thinking about something กระแส, แนวความคิด, ความคิดเห็น, อารมณ์ทางความคิด
sentiment - how investors and financial experts feel about the economy, whether it will get better or worse in the near future

sporadic - happening from  time to time (but not regularly or with any pattern)
garments - clothes
textiles - cloth for clothes (garments), fabric made by weaving or knitting (See Wikipedia)
fabrics - same as textiles
cosmetics - substances that you put on your face, body or skin which are intended to improve its appearance, such as lipstick, mascara or eye-liner that women (and ladyboys) put on their face to look more beautiful เครื่องสำอาง

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer