Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, at the Hand-over of Da Market at the Cambodia-Vietnam Border [Unofficial Translation]


Cambodia-Vietnam Trade Volume Goes Up 11%

I am so happy to be able to join with all of you to put into official use the border market at Da as you have already listened to the report by Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung of Vietnam concerning economic progresses of Cambodia and of Vietnam, as well as the trade and investment relations between the two countries […]. I am expressing my sincere thanks to Vietnam for building and providing Cambodia this border market, an important point in the two countries trade relations […] the market will provide people of our two countries with facilities and abilities to do businesses together and to benefit from win-win situation in the trade relations […]

A moment ago, I asked HE Trinh Dinh Dung about the volume of trade between Vietnam and China. He told me it is pegging around 130 billion USD. According to the report prepared by the Ministers of Trade of Cambodia and Vietnam, the trade volume between our countries is somewhere 4.7 billion USD, noting an increase of 11%. We have planned to reach a volume of 5 billion USD trade or even more […] Vietnam, with a population of nearly 100 million should be a big market for Cambodia. Thailand, with a population of over 60 million also could be a big market for Cambodia. So far, Cambodia has been importing from, more than exporting to, Vietnam and Thailand […]

Growing Economies of Vietnam and Thailand Favor Cambodian Economy

Cambodia must excel further to process its production and sell to Vietnam, which is a one of the important markets that we must give priority to for the sake of our people’s advantage.  I am happy to see progress of the Vietnamese economy in the last years, especially in 2018 and 2019 – stable and high growth. The other day I said to Vietnam’s First Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh that Cambodia has a concern on economies of Vietnam and Thailand. The problem is our economies are interrelated. Should economies in Vietnam and Thailand slow down facing with high inflation, the Cambodian economy is facing with losses too […] the important point that I wish to single out in the economic and trade relations with neighboring countries is positive growths of economies of Vietnam, or Thailand (or Laos) are in favor to the Cambodian economy […]

Formers Battlefields to Markets; Border of Peace with Neighbors

We have here a market that is becoming a model market to improve further trade and exchanges of goods between people of our two countries. This has responded to my intention to score success of my two goals issued after the implementation of the win-win policies. One of the goals was to transform former battlefields into markets and development. We have accomplished about 90% already on this as we turned fighting places into development zones and markets, or even farming areas. We are working to liberate another 10% of the borderland from mines and UXOs for our people […] the second goal was to build borderline of peace, friendship, cooperation, and development with neighboring countries. The market stands in a location where it used to be a battlefield of infighting Cambodia, and border instability in the period of occupations of the US and former South Vietnam […] I fought more than 20 times or 20% of battlefields that I had engaged in the five-year war of liberation […]

Vietnam Should Buy More Goods from Cambodia

In a period of forty years, we see now former fighting battlefields in this area and others along the national road 7 have now become areas of development where people live free from fear. We must make efforts to speed up development along the border with Vietnam, for instance the special economic zone in Bavet, where there are many factories there […] I wanted more special economic zones along the Cambodia-Vietnam border to attract investors from Vietnam and from other countries […] we must make efforts to process agricultural produces into final products for export […] I invite Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung and the Ministers of Trade of Vietnam to look at the volume of trades between our two countries. I insist on Vietnam purchasing more goods from Cambodia. I noted that Vietnam is buying from Cambodia now an amount of 300,000 tons of rice and other produces […]

From Exchanging Artillery Shells to Exchanging Goods

In the past (we) exchanged artillery shells on one another and along the border there were mines. As of now, we exchange each other with goods […] we demine and remove UXOS to guarantee safety for people on both sides. It is a victory of my two above-mentioned goals, and a part of my strategy to ensure Cambodia’s development, in which the volume of trade from Cambodia to Vietnam and Thailand is growing gradually […] according to the figures registered by the ministry of trade, the bilateral trade volume between Cambodia and Vietnam is somewhere 4,700 million USD. While in fact, I am sure that it has reached 5 billion USD already. My argument is that there is a registered figure that Vietnam officially purchase 300,000 metric tons of rice from Cambodia. However, the ministry of trade has not registered the amount of rice sold directly by the Cambodian farmers to Vietnam […]

Inspection Should Not Hinder Businesses

That fact that we are building the market here is to realize controllable trade activities. However, any inspection or control should not hinder people from doing their businesses […] on the Cambodian side, at the border exit/entry points we have only immigration police and custom officers. We do not have officials from Cambodia Import-Export Inspection and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (CAMCONTROL) any more. Relevant authorities must not disturb businesses in the areas. Any disturbances from the authorities would cause people to loom for other exit/entry points. We will have difficulties in managing cross border crimes […] I am stressing that this is a model market. Involved provincial governor must take high responsibilities. If it fails, the governor also fails. Should there be issues about setting “this much of goods must pay this much of money,” the provincial governor would be the first to take the responsibility before it come to the Ministry of Trade […]

Two More Border Markets by State Fund at Kompot and Svay Rieng

What we have achieved here today is a market right at the place where there used to be fighting among Cambodian factions inside the country and between country and country as the former South Vietnamese troops, supported by the US, invaded Cambodia. The process of building this market, according to the Cambodian Minister of Trade Pan Sorasak, has taken a long time […] from 2009 through to 2019. I also listened to the reports in which there had been many exchanges of delegations of the two countries on this market project, the expenses of which, I think, would have cost half of the project cost. Taking note of this long process, I have suggested using national fund to build two more markets – one in Svay Rieng province and another one in Kompot province. In the past, as we do not have resource and ability, we asked friends for help. We have already requested assistance from Vietnam to build the projected two markets and Vietnam has not yet responded, and since we have some ability now, I think Cambodia should build the two-million USD markets by its fund. I think our national fund is able to carry through.

Ensure Successful Markets Operations; Bilateral Trade Passages

What is concerned here is to ensure that the markets operate successfully […] concerned institutions must embark on preparing architectural designs and provincial authorities reserving land for the projects […] economic and/or trade connectivity must be reciprocal. The Da Market has secured an agreement with Vietnam about trade passage. That we build the markets ourselves, we must also seek the same agreement with Vietnam, or concerned neighboring countries, recognizing them as bilateral trade passages or international passages […] we must do the same with Thailand. Our people now are trading in the Rong Kloeur market situated in Thai territory.

We may allow the private sector to build them too […] I have more to talk about but I have not enough time to do so […] we have many Vietnamese present but they could not understand what I am talking about […] I speak Vietnamese. Some people should not say I am the puppet of Vietnam because I also French and English […] all in all, what I have said in Khmer, the foreign press has quoted my speech and translated what I said. This has indicated clearly that besides countries in the region, the foreign press such as Reuters, Diplomat, AFP, etc. have also followed what Hun Sen talked in Khmer and they have their expertise in translation […]

Once again, I would like Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung to convey my respects to HE Nguyen Phu Trong, the Secretary General of the Party, and Prime Minister HE Nguyen Xuan Phuc of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. I thank the government and people of Vietnam for assisting the Cambodian people to liberate themselves from the regime of Pol Pot and providing socioeconomic supports, including this wonderful assistance today. I hope that our two countries’ relations will strengthen further, people-to-people relation will be stronger and they will do business with regards and in friendships with one another […]