Cambodian, Lao PMs jointly open new border checkpoint | Focus

By Xinhua:

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Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith jointly inaugurated a new border gate on Tuesday in a bid to boost trade and tourism between the two ASEAN members.

The Trapeang Kriel-Nong Nokkheane international border checkpoint links the Trapeang Kriel area in northeastern Cambodia’s Stung Treng province and the Nong Nokkheane area in southern Laos’ Champassak province.

Hun Sen said the new border gate was a new achievement contributing to strengthening and expanding relations and cooperation between the two neighboring countries.

“The development of connectivity infrastructure and the new border checkpoint will definitely contribute to increasing trade volume, investment, cross-border goods transport, flow of tourists, and people-to-people relations between our two countries,” he said in a speech live broadcast on his Facebook page.

He encouraged authorities along the border of the two countries to work together closely to serve the peoples and fight against all forms of cross-border crimes.

In his remarks, Thongloun Sisoulith also expressed his strong belief that the new border checkpoint would boost trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people contact between the two ASEAN neighbors.

Trade and investment volumes between the two neighbors are still relatively small. The bilateral trade volume was valued at 24.5 million U.S. dollars in 2015.

According to the Council for the Development of Cambodia, there is no report of Lao investment in Cambodia, while Cambodian commercial bank Acleda has tapped into the Lao market since 2008.

On tourism, Laos is the fifth largest source of tourists to Cambodia, with some 314,400 Laotians visiting the country in the first 11 months of 2016, a Cambodian tourism data showed.

According to the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after the inauguration ceremony of the new border gate, Hun Sen would visit Don Sahong Hydropower Dam project in Laos’ Champasak province.

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