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Progress and Challenges in CVTEC Regional Cooperation

Efforts spanning eight years to establish the Cambodia-Vietnam-Thailand Economic Corridor (CVTEC), aimed at enhancing trade, investment, and tourism cooperation, encountered substantial hurdles. Recently, however, progress emerged at the CVTEC 2024 conference in Trat, hosted by Thailand with support from the TCEB and TCT.

Phuriphan Bunnak of TCEB outlined how MICE initiatives would bolster connectivity across these nations’ coastal areas, promoting a “1 Marketing 3 Destinations” strategy. Plans include a trial of the CVTEC sea route by late 2024, targeting an annual influx of 300,000 tourists through Trat, generating 3.1 billion baht.

Wiyada Suang from the Trat Tourism Council noted discussions on a maritime route from Sihanoukville to Khlong Yai’s multi-purpose pier, involving sixteen companies and government bodies from Cambodia and Vietnam. Stakeholders aim to finalize operational details by 2024’s end.

Cambodia and Vietnam showcased readiness, with Sihanoukville set to facilitate streamlined tourist services. Vietnam’s Ca Mau province anticipates benefiting from CVTEC’s investment and tourism boost, with plans to expand to Phu Quoc.

Governor Natthapong Sa-nguanjit emphasized Trat’s preparedness for cross-border routes, urging streamlined legal frameworks and infrastructure development. Discussions included leasing Khlong Yai’s pier for international passenger ships.

The CVTEC conference culminated in a six-point plan, prioritizing private-public cooperation, infrastructure readiness, and marketing strategies. Boonsiri Ferries expressed interest in the Trat-Sihanoukville route, pending cost evaluations and travel time considerations.

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