PHNOM PENH —
Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to a major boost in trade, along with other agreements as part of a “Two Kingdoms, One Goal” agreement.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday announced a deal between the two sides to have trade worth $15 billion by 2020, by expanding road and rail links.
Speaking after a meeting with Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-O-cha in Bangkok on Saturday, Hun Sen said that trade volume between the two nations continued to increase and now sits at about $5 million.
“We have seen much prosperity, and we still have the potential to expand cooperation further,” he said.
Cambodia already has a major trade deficit with industrialized Thailand, which sends billions of dollars worth of goods to Cambodia each year. Economists say that imbalance will be hard to overcome for Cambodia, which has little industry, especially beyond rice and garment factories.
Thailand has agreed to provide technical support in public health, while both sides will work toward greater cooperation along the borders, including maritime, and the establishment of “friendship hospitals,” with Thailand providing assistance from its doctors and other healthcare professionals. In the labor sector, Thailand said it would also provide support for skills training along the border and in Phnom Penh.
Both sides will seek to improve tourism connections, to bolster travel between their respective historical sites, including World Heritage destinations like Angkor Wat.
Also included in discussions between the two sides is offshore oil exploration.
Cambodia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the two sides also discussed security issues, railway connections and commerce, as well as a crackdown on illegal timber harvests and drug trafficking.