Army chief Gen Chalermchai Sittisat, standing right, visits the temporary border crossing at Ban Khao Din in Sa Kaeo’s Khlong Hat district on Wednesday. The government plans to upgrade it to a permanent crossing to boost border trade. (Photo by Sawat Katengam)
SA KAEO — A temporary border crossing in Khlong Hat district will be upgraded to a permanent checkpoint under a plan to boost border trade and security in the region.
Sa Kaeo is one of the 10 provinces designated for development as special economic zones (SEZ), where industrial estates will be set up for the purposes of agriculture, industry, logistics and tourism.
Sa Kaeo’s only permanent border checkpoint is at Ban Khlong Luek in Aranyaprathet district, and it is over crowded and unable to handle the growing border trade and increasing number of people crossing between Thailand and Cambodia.
The temporary border checkpoint at Ban Khao Din in Khlong Hat district is targeted for an upgrade to permanent status to relieve the congestion.
On Wednesday, army chief Gen Chalermchai Sittisat led a delegation to Ban Khao Din, where Sa Kaeo governor Klanarong Pongcharoen briefed him on the project to upgrade the crossing.
The governor said a subcommittee on border checkpoints under the National Security Council had approved the upgrade in principle and forwarded the matter to the Interior Ministry, which will seek cabinet approval.
If approved, the upgrade of the Ban Khao Din border checkpoint will be announced in the Royal Gazette, Mr Klanarong said.
The new permanent border crossing would boost border trade between Sa Kaeo and Cambodia’s Battambang province and ease overcrowding at the Khlong Luek checkpoint.
When Sa Kaeo has been developed as an SEZ, border trade between the two countries is expected to increase by at least 60 billion baht annually with the arrival of an estimated 850,000 tourists each year, the governor said.
The new permanent crossing would boost efficiency in controlling illegal entry and provide a logistics link from Laem Chabang deep seaport in Chon Buri, through Chachoengsao’s Tha Takiab district to Battambang in Cambodia. It would also connect to tourist spots in Buri Ram, Sa Kaeo and Chanthaburi, he said.