Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Provincial Governors in all provinces along the border with Thailand, the border with Vietnam and the border with Laos, and relevant institutions!
In the past, we have strengthened and controlled the entry and exit of the people, and set clear goals to strengthen the quarantine in the border areas to avoid the influx of disease from abroad into our country, but we have kept the freight as usual. Now you may listen to me clearly on this. I have just learnt that the General Department of Immigration has issued an order to the provinces along the Cambodian-Thai border, especially in the Pailin border area, not to allow Cambodians transporting agricultural products to the Thai border as before, starting tomorrow, while Thai trucks can enter our country.
If it is the case, I ask the Ministry of Interior, Samdech Krala Hom Sar Kheng, as well as the General Department of Immigration to revoke this order to facilitate people on the border to do business normally. On this note, not just doing business, since this is the harvest month, we should encourage people to export more and better. Why it is possible for Thailand to transport goods into our country, but the Cambodian people are not allowed to transport goods out to Thailand or to Vietnam?
I would like to reiterate that our goal is to control the people movement for the sake of quarantine, but we continue normal border trade. I urge all border provinces to take responsibility in ensuring that people can continue to do business with our neighbors, with the help of our authorities.
COVID-19 has destroyed us (in some areas) and we cannot let it destroy our economy. I am asking Samdech Krala Hom to confirm to me for which border areas the General Department of Immigration issue such an order. Please withdraw the order because the goods do not have COVID-19 on them either our goods shipped to Thailand or Vietnam or Vietnam’s goods shipped to Cambodia or Thailand’s goods shipped to Cambodia. Well, let us pay attention only to strengthening quarantine the people, while making it possible for business at the border to go in a normal manner as our market is depending on the neighboring markets, and vice versa.
Therefore, please follow this matter up to avoid confusions, and if anyone issue any regulations related to the border, let me know, because I am responsible for both domestic and foreign policies. In the past, we had issued regulations banning the import of fish from outside, which might have violated the standards of the World Trade Organization and the AFTA framework (ASEAN Free Trade Area). We have made adjustments with the Ministry of Agriculture (Forestry and Fisheries) on the ban on fish importing from Vietnam, which could have caused problems. This is an urgent matter, and I urge the border provinces to take responsibility and report to me directly if there are any issues related to trade disruptions on the Cambodian-Thai border./.