Thai-Myanmar border commerce to double by 2026

Thai-Myanmar border commerce to double by 2026

A vendor stands in front of the Mae Sot-Myawaddy checkpoint in Tak province. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
A vendor stands in front of the Mae Sot-Myawaddy checkpoint in Tak province. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

The value of border trade between Thailand and Myanmar is expected to double to US$12 billion by 2026, says the assistant spokesman of the Prime Minister's Office.

The cabinet has approved the proposed draft of policies and initiatives for the ninth Meeting of the Myanmar-Thailand Joint Commission, as diplomatic relations between the two nations turn 70.

A commemorative reception will be hosted by Myanmar in Nay Pyi Taw on Aug 14 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Myanmar.

"The bilateral meeting between the two countries will also focus on the political stability through strengthened border demarcation and control, as well as discussions on economic development, which both governments aim to reach $12 billion by 2026, doubling the current trade value between the two countries," says Col Athisit Chainuvat, assistant spokesman of the Prime Minister's Office.

The agenda for the meeting consists of a variety of topics such as stiffer monitoring efforts on the movement of people, suppressing the narcotics trade, humanitarian aid to Rakhine State and improving labour cooperation.

Another important development between the two countries to be discussed at the joint commission is the development of the Dawei Special Economic Zone (DSEZ).

Once completed, the DSEZ will enhance connectivity and supply chains along the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) of Thailand and the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC).

There has been progress on a two-lane road that connects Dawei to the Thai-Myanmar border, along with the completion of the second Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge and border control facilities that will officially be granted an opening ceremony to celebrate the seven-decade-long relationship.

Improving mobility throughout Thailand and Myanmar will facilitate the flow of trade with a wider reach towards neighbouring India and Vietnam, as road infrastructure plays a pivotal role in the movement of goods and labour across the entire region.

Both countries acknowledged in recent meetings that further discussion is needed to consider an appropriate trilateral inter-governmental mechanism aimed at closely coordinating between Myanmar, Thailand and Japan to implement the development of the DSEZ.

Thailand's foreign affairs minister, Don Pramudwinai, and his Myanmar counterpart, U Kyaw Tin, will co-chair the Aug 14 event.


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