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  1. #1
    Mid
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    Thai-Cambodian Border : Traders shrug off border tension

    Traders shrug off border tension
    May Kunmakara
    Wednesday, 02 February 2011


    Men transport merchandise across the Thai-Cambodian border at the Poipet crossing in May last year.
    Photo by: Sovan Philong

    Political tensions between Cambodia and Thailand did not challenge economic concerns last year, officials said today, as the value of bilateral trade between the two countries grew more than 50 percent in 2010.Figures from the Thai Embassy’s foreign trade promotion office, released today in Phnom Penh, showed the value of trade rose to US$2.557 billion in 2010, up from $1.658 billion a year earlier – growth of about 54 percent.

    Cambodia’s exports to Thailand rose 176 percent year-on-year to $215 million, while Thailand’s exports increased by about 48 percent to $2.342 billion in 2010.

    Tensions between the two countries rose in July 2008 after UNESCO listed Preah Vihear temple as a Cambodian world heritage site.

    In late 2009, the relationship soured further when both governments recalled their ambassadors after Cambodia appointed the former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as an economic advisor.

    Conditions improved once Thaksin resigned from his role in August 2010, when both ambassadors returned to their offices.

    Controversy flared again in recent weeks after seven Thais were arrested in December in Banteay Meanchey’s O’Chrou district.

    Officials said today the ongoing political situation had not directly impacted economic ties between the two kingdoms.

    “Our policy is that political matters are in one hand, and economics are in one other [hand]. People are still doing business and exchanging [goods],” said Chan Nora, secretary of state at Cambodia’s Commerce Ministry.

    “The policy does not comply only [to] our country but also other countries in the world.”

    Deputy Director of the Thai Business Council of Cambodia, Kriegn Kria, said today that many of Thailand’s large companies were not concerned about the political issues.

    “I think that nothing impacted the business made between the people of our two countries because we have had a very long history, which is why we have got so close to each other,” he said.

    He cited that the increase in bilateral trade was in part due to the recovery of the global economy, which was pushing consumer demand.

    Business representatives from Thai-based firms also emphasised today the importance of economic growth as a factor affecting trade rather than politics.
    Bin Many Mialia, business division manager at Thai petroleum company PTT, said his business had improved in 2010.

    “We’re doing well. We are the key importer of fuel oil used in electricity generation and Jet A/1 fuel for commercial use,” he said.

    “The political issue did not impact us. If the economy is improving, my business is also good.”

    And, despite recent developments which have seen two of the arrested Thais sentenced to jail terms, officials are still optimistic for growth in the year ahead.

    Kriegn Kria said: “I think it should be good this year because the world economy is going better.”

    “I do believe that we will keep increasing trade, even through the recent political standoff, because people will still exchange their products with each other,” added Chan Nora.

    Thailand’s exports to Cambodia include petroleum, processed goods, building materials, fruit and vegetables.

    Cambodia primarily ships agricultural products, second-hand garments, recyclable metal and fish in the opposite direction.

    Jiranan Wongmongkol, director of FTPO, was not available for comment today.

    phnompenhpost.com

  2. #2
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    Doing a trip to Aranyaprathet on Tuesday. I'll do my best not to look suspicious or spy-like, and careful not to accidentally cross the border. GF doesn't want to go, has a real fear of Cambodians, including the ones employed on her farm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genghis61 View Post
    .... GF doesn't want to go, has a real fear of Cambodians, including the ones employed on her farm.

    A lot of that is because up until the early 90’s, there were still armed KR factions roaming the border in Sa Kaeo, referred to as refugee0warriors and rumors were rife about their behavior against Thai civilians.

    To say nothing about Vietnamese incursions chasing KR rebels.

    I suspect a lot of children growing up in the late 70’s and 80’s were told if they did not behave, the Cambodians would get them.

    Here is an interesting web site about that period.
    Thai / Cambodian Border Refugee Camps History
    TH

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    Quote Originally Posted by genghis61 View Post
    Doing a trip to Aranyaprathet on Tuesday. I'll do my best not to look suspicious or spy-like, and careful not to accidentally cross the border. GF doesn't want to go, has a real fear of Cambodians, including the ones employed on her farm.


    I've had an urge to hit the casino for a few hours of blackjack, but I've been concerned about what problems I might have trying to get back into Thailand. Those border casinos must be hurting now, I wonder if the Thais who frequent them are thinking the same way?

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    ^ Yes a genuine (if irrational) fear, wouldn't accompany me on a trip to PP in December.
    Thanks for that link, wasn't aware how active this part of the border had been; her dad was local puyaiban (or however it is spelt) till his death in 1994 so maybe more aware of border issues than some locally, her mother talked about the big refugee camp near Aranyaprathet.
    Last year we went to a Khmer temple ruin on our/Thai side of the border, read afterwards it had been landmined at one stage by KR

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    I wonder if the government knows about all the rice being smuggled into Thailand from the border then sold for the subsidized price. It is pissing off a lot of farmers because it has dropped the local prices but other farmers are the ones who are buying the rice and smuggling it in.
    For the most honest and reliable taxi driver in Bangkok plz call Mr. Weerasat (Wee) 089-238-1918. He has an Izuz SUV and has been our neighbor and family friend for over 10 years.

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    Mid
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    Business as usual at border with Thailand
    Soeun Say
    Monday, 07 February 2011

    CROSSINGS made by tourists and traders across the Cambodia-Thailand border are still going strong, officials said yesterday, despite political turmoil and a deadly border clash.

    “Everything is normal,” said Sao Bunrith, chief of the Poipet border checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey province, the main crossing to Thailand.

    “They [international tourists] are still crossing everyday – it is not a problem. Cambodian and Thai people are still doing business normally,” he added.

    Officials said that many Thais – benefiting from a visa exemption programme introduced late last year – flooded across the border to enjoy Cambodia’s casinos during Chinese New Year, as violence broke out at Preah Vihear.

    Last month saw the number crossings made at the checkpoint total 251,597. This was an increase of 25 percent on the same month of 2010, according to deputy Poipet border chief Tem Yady.

    Kong Sophearak, director of the Department of Statistics and Information at the Ministry of Tourism, added that the Poipet was traditionally the most popular land crossing.

    phnompenhpost.com

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    Committee set up to help residents affected by border clash
    วันศุกร์ ที่ 11 ก.พ. 2554



    BANGKOK, Feb 11 – A committee has been set up to help local residents and business operators affected by the border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia and to oversee the impacts on agricultural goods, consumer goods, imports and exports in terms of trade and security, Commerce Minister Pornthiva Nakasai said.

    The Thai-Cambodian border situation is having an impact on the economy and trade and has caused trouble to local residents, Mrs Pornthiva said, noting that and commerce ministry has closely followed the situation and is concerned about the local residents well being.

    The ministry has already delivered necessities including rice, vegetable oil, instant noodles, sugar and drinking water to villagers in Si Sa Ket’s Kantharalak district.

    The ministry ordered the provincial commerce and internal trade offices to survey the supply of consumer goods in the market and goods prices to prevent consumers being taken advantage of. They were assigned to survey the damage and impact on trade to find appropriate assistance measures.

    Information and assistance measures will be introduced to help those affected. A hotline with the number 1569 has been launched to receive donations and complaints about the amount of goods and goods prices.

    Meanwhile, Si Sa Ket governor Somsak Suwansucharit said after inspecting the Thai-Cambodia frontier area, that the clashes last week forced many villagers to evacuate to temporary shelters.

    Some villagers moved back to their homes, so the number of people in temporary shelters dropped from 20,000 to 12,000.

    The province will assess the situation with security agencies to ensure the safety of local residents. If the situation remains normal, villagers will be able to return home on Saturday.

    mcot.net

  9. #9
    Mid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    BANGKOK, Feb 11 – A committee has been set up to help local residents and business operators affected by the border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia and to oversee the impacts on agricultural goods, consumer goods, imports and exports in terms of trade and security, Commerce Minister Pornthiva Nakasai said.
    err , what happen to business as usual / no effect ?

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