New Laos-Cambodia border crossing opens

PHNOM PENH – A new crossing on the Cambodia-Laos border, the Trapeang Kreal international border gate, opened officially on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and Laso Premier Thongloun Sisoulith were to preside over the ceremony, Cambodia’s Foreign Ministry said.

The crossing connects Cambodia’s Stung Treng province with Laos’ Champasak province, according to a report by the Khmer Times.

Thonglien Sibounthien, managing director of Viengchampa Tour in the Laos city of Luang Phrabang, said on Monday the opening of the border gate will not only facilitate tourism but also boost trade between the countries.

“Opening the border is really good and that is very important for both of us. It means better income,” he said.

However, the poor state of the roads was still a concern and visas were expensive, aspects which each country has to improve.

The opening of the gate follows the state visit by the new Laos prime minister to Cambodia in June.

At the time Mr Sibounthien urged Cambodia to increase trade and investment in its northern neighbour because commerce between the two countries was small and there was ample room for expansion.

The president and group CEO of Acleda Bank, In Channy, also welcomed the opening of the gate. The Cambodian bank has invested in Laos since 2008,

He said it would play a big role in promoting investment, trade and investment with Laos.

Visitors from Laos to Cambodia fell in the first 11 months of last year.

Numbers dropped more than 10% to 314,415 from 349,759 in the same period a year earlier, but Laos was still number five on the list of international visitors to Cambodia, the Tourism Ministry said.

Source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/world/1177637/new-laos-cambodia-border-crossing-opens