Cambodia, Thailand discuss linking ports

Cambodia, Thailand discuss linking ports

A truck inside the Sihanoukville deep-sea port. (Khmer Times photo)
A truck inside the Sihanoukville deep-sea port. (Khmer Times photo)

Thailand has proposed connecting one of its ports to Sihanoukville’s deep-water port in a bid to boost trade between the countries.

A delegation from Thailand’s eastern economic corridor met with Cambodian authorities on Tuesday to discuss linking the infrastructures of the Laem Chabang port in Chonburi province with the Sihanoukville port, the Khmer Times reported.

The Cambodian side was represented by Tauch Chankosal, secretary of state at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, while the Thailand delegation was headed by Nongnuth Phetchratana, a special advisor for the Thai Foreign Ministry's in charge of Eastern Economic Corridor Office.

Va Simsorya, spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, told the Khmer Times on Thursday that the purpose of the Thai delegation’s visit was to discuss the difficulties that Sihanoukville’s port is facing.

Earlier this week, the Khmer Times reported that several international shippers were complaining of congestion at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port.

“(The Thai side) proposed to share their port with us. They were concern about congestion at Sihanoukville’s port,” he said.

Simsorya said Cambodia was open to the idea but was concerned that linking the ports could cause problems with Thai customs officials.

“We were concerned about border crossings and how Thai authorities could react, so we ask the delegation to first sort out this problem,” he said.

Sin Chanthy, president of the Cambodia Freight Forwarders Association (CAMFFA), told the Khmer Times on Thursday that this was good news for the logistics sector.

“If the ports are indeed linked it will be of huge benefit for both countries. It will help attract investment and reduce shipping times,” he said.

Chanthy noted that Japanese and Korean companies with a presence in Thailand may consider expanding into Cambodia if the plan materialises.

He noted that Cambodian freight forwarders now mostly use Cat Lai Port in southern Vietnam to ship to third countries due to its proximity to the kingdom.

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