PM Lauds Cooperation Ahead of Visit to Thailand

Prime Minister Hun Manet meets with Thailand's Ambassador Cherdkiat Atthakor on Jan. 10. Photo: STPM

PHNOM PENH – Prime Minister Hun Manet has praised ties with Thailand ahead of his official visit next month during which leaders are expected to discuss the  disputed rich natural resources area in the Gulf of Thailand.

During talk with Thai Ambassador Cherdkiat Atthakor on Jan. 10, the PM also spoke about the progress of cooperation in many potential areas, including trade, tourism and people-to-people exchanges.

The PM is slated to visit Bangkok next month, the second visit to ASEAN countries after last month’s visit to Vietnam. He met his Thai counterpart Srettha Thavisin in September as the latter paid an official visit to Cambodia, his first visit to ASEAN members.

Cherdkiat said the two countries have enjoyed a good friendship and cooperation and he was committed to further strengthening relations. He was ready to welcome Hun Manet during his visit. 

The dispute over overlapping claims in the Gulf of Thailand will be one of the issues on the table, said Thai Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara. Parnpree was quoted by the Bangkok Post that Hun Manet will visit Thailand on Feb. 7.

After the talks, officials from the two countries will discuss further action to be taken.

Thai PM adviser and former energy minister Pichai Naripthaphan said talks would focus on possible cooperation in using energy resources in the overlapping area rather than raising the maritime border dispute, the Bangkok Post reported.

The 26,000 square kilometers area is believed to be rich in gas and oil. 

The countries signed a memorandum of understanding in 2001 in an attempt to resolve the dispute but little progress has been made.

Thailand is Cambodia’s fourth-largest trading partner. The two-way trade accounted for $3.71 billion in 2023. Cambodia’s exports stood at $817.57 million with imports worth $2.89 billion, according to provisional data released by General Department of Customs and Excise.

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