Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Goods and tourists now moving more quickly between Vietnam and Cambodia

(Post by CAAI News Media)
VietNamNet Bridge – A Vietnam and Cambodia border agreement is boosting exporting and tourism and making the future existence of a three-country visa a possibility.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Photo: AP)

Following the agreement, which took effect on September 30, goods consignments carried overland between Vietnam and Cambodia will be able to cross borders without having to change vehicles as before.

According to Pham Xuan Thu, head of the supply division of HCM City-based Saigon Paper Company, the changes make it much faster for his organisation. Before it meant considerable delay and borders and a change of vehicle.

Now, Thu says, the company is planning to carry goods directly from Vietnam to Cambodia and further lower time and cost.

It is expected that with the new road transport agreement, it will take Vietnamese businesses 15-30 minutes only to fulfill administrative procedures at the border gate.

One director explained that previously businesses had to spend two days and one night to carry goods from HCM City to Cambodia through Moc Bai border gate in Tay Ninh province, 70km northwest of HCM City, including half a day to load and upload goods. In order to bring goods to the centre of Phnom Penh, he had to pay $2,500-$2,800 as a transport fee for every 12 metre-long vehicle which is equal to a 40 feet container vehicle.

A sales agent of a plastics company, said that as vehicles can now go straight to Cambodia across the border - the risks in cargo carrying are minimised. He says that the changing of vehicles at the border gates often led to the theft of goods on the way.

The road transport agreement has been welcomed not only by producers and traders, but by tourism firms as well.

Currently, Vietnamese tourists mostly go to Cambodia through Moc Bai international border gate. As most of Vietnamese vehicles are not allowed to enter Cambodian territory, tourists have to walk through the border gate to fulfill administrative procedures and then take Cambodian vehicles to continue the trips, which is really inconvenient to tourists.

Nguyen Van My, director of Lua Viet Travel Firm, said that most tourists want to stay in the same vehicle throughout their trip. It’s hoped the agreement will also boost tourist numbers.

So Mara, a senior official of Cambodian Ministry of Tourism, emphasised that the road transport agreement is an important step in applying the one-visa scheme for three countries, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

It is believed that this would greatly increase tourism all round.

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