Published on July 13, 2009
The Foreign Trade Department will lead local businesses on a roadshow to Cambodia and Vietnam next week in a bid to explore trade and investment opportunities along the new land link between the three countries.
Representatives of the Board of Trade of Thailand, the Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai Machinery Association and the Thai Chamber of Commerce in Trat province, as well as cross-border traders, will participate in the roadshow along Route No 48, or R48.
The 151.5-kilometre road to Cambodia, which extends another 300km into Vietnam, begins as an east-west corridor in Thailand, including four river-spanning bridges. Construction of the stretch linking Thailand with Cambodia was completed in June last year, at a total cost of Bt1.8 billion.
Unchana Withayathamthat, deputy director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said the road would facilitate trade and investment growth between the countries.
"This roadshow, conducted from July 15 to 18, will pave the way for Thai enterprises to find new opportunities to increase trade and investment, in particular by securing farming and machinery-production contracts in the neighbouring countries," said Unchana.
Four Cambodian provinces with strong growth potential lie along R48: Koh Kong, Kampot, Sihanoukville (recently renamed Preah Sihanouk) and Takaew. These include six special economic zones, making them attractive for Thai investors. Unchana pointed out that potential businesses for Thai investors include contract farming for soybeans and sugarcane with local farmers; and establishing plants to produce processed seafood, garments and hydroelectric power.
Thai investors are allowed 100-per-cent ownership rights in Cambodian special economic zones. However, transportation of goods along the new route is subjected to a 5-per-cent customs tariff.