Border demarcation effort sped up

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian foreign ministry secretary of state Soeung Rathchavy speaks during a virtual meeting with her Vietnamese counterpart during the 7th Political Consultations between Cambodia and Vietnam on Thursday. FOREIGN MINISTRY

Cambodia and Vietnam have committed to expediting discussions intended to bring about a mutually acceptable solution regarding the remaining 16 per cent of the Cambodia-Vietnam border that lacks official demarcation and to strengthen coordination at the border to stop criminal offences like drugs and human trafficking, among others.

The commitment was made during a video conference between Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation secretary of state Soeung Rathchavy and Vietnamese vice-minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung.

The October 21 video conference marked the 7th political consultations between the two countries since the fall of the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime.

According to the foreign ministry’s press statement released on October 24, the two sides had discussed a wide ranges of issues related to politics as well as security, response to the Covid-19 pandemic, trade and investment, education and culture, tourism, energy, connectivity and collaboration between the two foreign ministries.

“With regard to border cooperation, both sides welcomed the official ceremony to exchange the instruments of ratification of the two important legal documents to record the completion of the 84 per cent of the land boundary demarcation and marker planting between the two countries.

“They agreed to expedite the discussions to find a mutually acceptable solution for the 16 per cent remaining of undemarcated land boundary,” the press statement said.

In August of last year, Cambodia and Vietnam formally exchanged border maps. The two countries said agreement on the border is 84 per cent complete, leaving roughly 16 per cent of the 1,270km border to be finalised and have markers put in place.

The foreign ministry said Vietnam had also expressed support for Cambodia with the latter set to host the 13th ASEM summit on November 25-26 and to take over the ASEAN chairmanship next year.

“Both countries agreed to designate the Year 2022 as “Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Year”. They also exchanged ideas on commemorative activities to jointly celebrate the milestone achievements of Cambodia-Vietnam relations,” the ministry said.

According to the press statement, bilateral trade between Cambodia and Vietnam had progressed positively despite the prolonged economic difficulties caused by the pandemic. It said the trade volume increased from $5.26 billion in 2019 to $5.33 billion in 2020, and in just seven months this year the trade volume had already reached $6.03 billion.