Vietnam and Cambodia will work out plans to add 13 new border gates over the next seven years in areas belonging to the Central Highlands and the Mekong Delta region the Vietnamese government said Wednesday.

One of the new ports of entry will be at a railway station, three on the main highways and nine spread out along the local roads. Other border gates will be upgraded.

Trade between Vietnam and Cambodia has been rising fast in recent years, reaching $3.3 billion in 2012. That’s up from $2.8 billion 2011 and $1.8 billion in 2010. Trade between the two countries is expected to hit $5 billion by 2015.

Vietnam exported goods valued at $2.8 billion to Cambodia in 2012, up from $2.4 billion in 2011, with the three biggest items being gasoline, steel and textiles.

It imported goods worth of $486 million from Cambodia in 2012, up from $430 million in the previous year, with the main items being natural rubber, timber and tobacco material.

Currently, there are 15 main border checkpoints between the two countries. They are already connected to the trading centers in the 10 provinces on the Vietnamese side along the borderline. Vietnam will upgrade the infrastructure and provide them with modern equipment to raise efficiency.

Specifically, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has instructed local authorities to add facilities for trade, health care, quarantine and communications at these border gates.

Vietnam and Cambodia signed an agreement on border demarcation in 1985. Since then, they have planted 277 markers along 824 kilometers out of the more than 1,200-kilometer boundary line, according to the administration of An Giang province, which shares the border with Ta Keo province of Cambodia. The two countries haven’t announced a deadline to complete the demarcation of the remaining boundary line.

Aside from Cambodia, Vietnam also shares borderlines of 2,000 kilometers with Laos and 1,400 kilometers with China. The government of Vietnam has said it will build trade zones along the main border-crossing checkpoints, which are mostly located in remote areas.

By Nguyen Pham Muoi - The Wall Street Journal - August 29, 2013