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Premier To Sign Trade, Visa Deals in Hanoi

Prime Minister Hun Sen left for Hanoi Tuesday for a two-day official visit, where he is expected to improve cross-border trade with visa exemptions for Cambodians.

The premier will discuss the economy, trade, investment and the acceleration of border demarcation with his counterpart, Nguyen Tan Dung.

During Hun Sen’s visit, his first since the July elections, the two are expected to sign an agreement that will allow all passport holders to cross between the two countries without a visa, which will ease imports and exports.

“These agreements really promote the economics between the two countries, especially cross-border trade and free visas, so that ordinary people can make business along the border and travel,” said Koy Koung, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The two are also scheduled to sign an agreement to link the countries by rail, as part of a pan-Asean railway initiative, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The two countries will also seek greater cooperation between their two national stations, National Radio of Cambodia and the Voice of Vietnam.

“We will allow the news in Vietnamese to be broadcast on Cambodian national radio for 15 minutes each day, and Vietnam will help train Cambodians to use material and equipment for the radio in the studio,” Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said.

Both sides will share with each other music and background broadcasts from national festivals and events, he said.

In Hanoi, Hun Sen will also join economic summits with Burma, Laos and Vietnam.

Trade between the two countries increased from $180 million in 2000 to $1.2 billion in 2007, Vietnamnet reported Tuesday. From January to June this year, the two have traded $903 million. Both countries hope trade to reach $2 billion annually by 2012. Meanwhile, investment from Vietnam in Cambodia was $100 million in 2007.