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New Cambodia-Vietnam Market to Serve as ‘Model’ for Growing Trade Ties

Mr. Pan Sorasak, Cambodia's minister of commerce (left) and Vietnamese ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh preside over the inauguration ceremony of “Da Market,” a joint initiative of the two nations, located along the border of Memot district of Tboung Khmum province and of Tay Ninh province in Vietnam, on January 16, 2018. (Courtesy : Facebook page of Ministry of Commerce)

A Cambodian official said that if the market was a commercial success, other similar markets would be opened in other areas along the border.

A new market will open on the Cambodia-Vietnam border over the next year, according to commerce ministry officials.

The general goods market, launched during a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday in Tbong Khmum province, is being built following the conclusion of demarcation of the border in Memot district’s Dar commune, officials said.

Seang Thay, commerce ministry spokesman, said the Vietnam government had provided a grant for $2 million for the construction of Dar Market.

“This is a commercial market which is the first ‘model’ market, which we will build to facilitate the people along the border to easily trade our goods in a better way,” he said.

He added that the market was being built on two hectares of land in an industrial park owned by tycoon Chhon Thary.

Thay said that if the market was a commercial success, other similar markets would be opened in other areas along the border.

“If it goes well, there will be more construction of [similar markets] along the border. The important thing is that it’s hard for us to sell our products to their side, so when we have a market built in that place, the Vietnamese side can enter to buy our products,” he said.

Vietnamese Embassy officials could not be reached for comment, but Vu Quang Minh, the Vietnamese ambassador, who attended the groundbreaking ceremony, was reported as saying the opening of the market was intended to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Thaing Saroeun, Dar commune chief, said the market would draw business from far afield and bring new money into the area.

“Based on this morning report made by a secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, this market will not only be used for Tbong Khmum province, meaning it will be for trading agricultural products imported from Mondolkiri, Ratanakkiri, and Kratie provinces,” he said.

Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Vietnam has increased rapidly over the past five years, rising to almost $3.5 billion last year from under $3 billion in 2016.

“The formation of this sample market is the beginning of another new chapter of the strengthening of cooperation and trade facilitation along the border of the two countries in an easy manner, and it’s close to the people. Particularly, it would help to achieve trade volume of the two countries by $5 billion based on a masterplan for the future,” Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak was quoted as saying on the Freshnews website.