PHNOM PENH: Cambodia and Thailand will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cross-border trade in early next month to comply with new Thai customs regulations due to come into effect on Nov 13.
The signing comes after the two prime ministers, meeting at the Third Cambodia-Thailand Joint Cabinet Retreat in September, agreed to increase efforts to boost cross-border trade, attract more investment and lift annual bilateral trade to US$15 billion by 2020.
The announcement was made by Kun Nhem, the director of Cambodia’s General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE), who last week led a trade delegation to Bangkok to negotiate details of the agreement on cross-border trade, according to a report in Khmer Times.
“The purpose of the MoU is to fulfill the conditions to provide legitimacy on the transportation of cross-border goods by land in accordance with the new customs regulations of Thailand,” the official statement said.
“The MoU does not only fulfill the conditions to provide legitimacy to the transportation of cross-border goods by land in accordance with Thailand’s new customs regulations, but also benefits Cambodia in that it strengthens the control of goods imported into Cambodia via Thailand.”
Bou Bunnara, the chief of the public relations unit at GDCE, said yesterday that both sides are working hard to have a draft of the agreement ready by the November deadline.
During the September meeting, agreements were also reached on double tax avoidance and preventing the declaration of fraudulent income to avoid tax, which are considered essential to investment and foreign technology transfers.
According to the GDCE the statement planning will also continue on establishing six checkpoints for cargo transported by land to or from a third country, along with initiatives to crack down smuggling.
Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Thailand reached $5.6 billion in 2016, a rise of $100 million year-on-year. Thailand’s exports to Cambodia last year were worth $4.7 billion, while Cambodia’s exports to Thailand were valued at $937 million.