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Cambodia PM wants border trade ban removed

Chea Vanyuth / Khmer Times Fri, February 26, 2021

A Thai soldier sprays disinfectant on a truck carrying products from Thailand at Chong Chom border, Surin province, Thailand. KT/Chor Sokunthea

PHNOM PENH – Prime Minister Hun Sen has called for provinces that share borders with neighbouring countries to facilitate the transport of goods.

In a voice message released on Wednesday, Mr Hun Sen asked the Ministry of Interior, particularly the General Department of Immigration, to remove the ban on transporting goods between neighbouring countries.

Implementing the quarantine for COVID-19 for those who enter and leave Cambodia across border checkpoints and the goods transported at border gates remains normal, the Premier said.

The General Department of Immigration had previously issued a ban on transporting goods across the border gate between Palin province and Thailand.

“I ask the Ministry of Interior as well as the General Department of Immigration to remove the ban so that residents in the border gate areas can run businesses as usual. This is the agriculture cultivation season, so we have to boost exports further as incentives offered to our farmers,” Mr Hun Sen said.

“[I] call for paying attention to strengthening the quarantine practises, but also to facilitate people running businesses at the border areas to expand, because our markets depend on neighbouring countries that import much into our country and we also export much to the neighbouring countries as well,” the Premier said.

“Please apply the measure specifically to avoid any confusion,” said the Premier. “I would like to verify that our goal is to manage people for practising quarantine, but doing trade at border gates is normal.”

Earlier in February, authorities and armed forces were ordered to tighten the COVID-19 prevention along the border with Vietnam.

The government said the biggest concern is the COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam from the north to the central and southern areas close to Cambodia.

All provinces along the Vietnamese border – from Kampot to Ratanakiri provinces – were tasked to take immediate action to inspect and quarantine people crossing the border.

“If we are negligent, our country will suffer from COVID-19 both from Thailand and Vietnam,” Mr Hun Sen said.

SOURCE: Khmer Times, Cambodia Fri, February 26, 2021

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