Construction of Cambodia’s border checkpoint at Stung Bot-Ban Nong Ian Friendship Bridge with Thailand accelerated
The Ministry of Public Works is accelerating the construction of the border checkpoint administrative buildings at Stung Bot-Ban Nong Ian Friendship Bridge to facilitate travel of people and goods between Thailand and Cambodia in Banteay Meanchey province.
Minister of Public Works Sun Chanthol is leading an official delegation to inspect the progress of construction today.
The Stung Bot-Ban Nong Ian Friendship Bridge between the two neighbouring countries was inaugurated in April 2019 connecting Banteay Meanchey province of Cambodia to Sa Kaeo province of Thailand.
The checkpoint facility will open up opportunities for international cooperation, investment, cross-border trade, job creation and tourism which will improve the living standards of local people as well as both countries’ economies.
Ministry spokesman Vasim Sorya said the facilities that will serve as administration at the border are still under construction, which was delayed due to the pandemic.
The facilities are on Cambodia’s side at the border checkpoint and railway station in Poipet city.
The two neighbouring countries are linked officially by rail tracks, but the movement of goods and people’s travel has not started.
“The construction is underway. Cambodia and Thailand have continued talks on the procedures of import and export,” Sorya said yesterday.
Last year, the trade exchange between the two countries grew by 12 percent to $9.4 billion.
Construction was originally planned to take 24 months to complete. The project worth over $26 million, financed with a loan from the Thai government, is being developed by CM Grand Development Co Ltd and Tan Kim Eng Co Ltd.
Construction of the administrative buildings for the Stung Bot-Ban Nong Ian border checkpoint with Thailand are 12% complete
Construction of the administrative buildings for the Stung Bot-Ban Nong Ian border checkpoint with Thailand is 12 per cent complete, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya.
Sorya affirmed that construction is on schedule and would facilitate cross-border transport and improve transit trade between the two countries, though he did not provide a timeframe for reference.
On June 30, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a delegation comprising a technical working group and ministry representatives to inspect the progress of the buildings in Stung Bot commune, of Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town.
The minister said the inspection aimed to ensure that the plan forges ahead, to deliver a more convenient route for transit, which he analogised as a “blood vessel contributing to the growth of our economy”.
He said construction of the buildings would cost $26.85 million, funded by a loan from the Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (Neda), Thailand’s international development aid agency.
Ministry spokesman Sorya told The Post on June 30 that the project had been affected by an outbreak in Poipet of the novel coronavirus.
He said Chanthol “inspected the progress of the construction and other infrastructure to enable temporary operation at Stung Bot- Ban Nong Ian”.
He noted that the Poipet border crossing notoriously suffers from severe congestion, with scores of trucks ferrying goods queuing to enter into either country.
This, he said, requires the development of new infrastructure at the border for goods and passenger clearance services.
“The Banteay Meanchey Provincial Administration has been working with the Sa Kaeo provincial authorities in Thailand to open it [the checkpoint] temporarily,” Sorya said.
The border checkpoint links Stung Bot to Ban Nong Ian, in Sa Kaeo province’s Aranyaprathet district on the Thai side.
Construction of Highway 3646, which will continue into Thailand from the gate, is 70 per cent complete and scheduled for completion in February, the Bangkok Post reported on May 20 citing the Thai Department of Highways.
The two billion baht ($62 million) road will be 25km long and have two lanes in either direction, the Thai daily said.
According to the Council for the Development of Cambodia, Thailand is among the nine biggest investors in Cambodia, pumping $967.89 million in foreign direct investment into the country between 1994 and the end of the third quarter of 2017.
And more than 1,000 companies from Thailand are registered with the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce, according to Cambodian ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn.
Trade volume between Cambodia and Thailand reached $2.09734 billion in the first quarter of this year, down 21.36 per cent year-on-year, according to statistics from the Thai Department of Foreign Trade.
Cambodia exported $329.54 million worth of goods to Thailand in January-March, down by 48.92 per cent on a yearly basis, and imported $1.7678 billion, down by 12.57 per cent from the year-ago period.