Sa Kaeo and Battambang officials pose for a group photo after talks on Monday ahead of the opening of a new permanent border crossing between the two provinces. (Photo by Sawat Ketngam)

Thailand and Cambodia will open a new permanent checkpoint between Sa Kaeo and Battambang at the end of this month.

Sa Kaeo governor Pornpot Penpas said on Tuesday the permanent checkpoint between Ban Khao Din in Khlong Hat district and Phnom Dai in Cambodia’s Battambang province will open on Friday March 30.

The official opening ceremony will be in mid-May, with the plan being to invite the two prime ministers to preside.

The border pass at Ban Khao Din is currently a temporary checkpoint open daily from 9am-5pm, according to the Asean Information Centre of the Thai Public Relations Department.

The cabinet agreed in November last year to upgrade it to a permanent checkpoint to boost trade and other contacts between the two countries. Preparations had now been completed.

The immigration office in Sa Kaeo has proposed extended new service hours from 6am-10pm from March 30.

The Sa Kaeo governor held talks with Battambang governor Nguon Ratanak on Monday about the opening date.

Two-way trade between the two countries through the checkpoint totalled 3.58 billion baht in 2016. About 1,150 Thais crossed the border to Battambang and 1 million Cambodians came to Thailand through the pass in 2016.

Ban Khao Din will be the second permanent checkpoint in Sa Kaeo. The first is between Aranyaprathet district and Poipet town in Cambodia, and is the main gateway to Cambodia.

Opening of the new permanent crossing is expected to ease border traffic in Aranyaprathet.

News Reporter

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