Delegation visits Myanmar
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak is scheduled to lead a Thai delegation to Myanmar on Feb 2-3, seeking to expand bilateral trade and investment as well as border trade.
Isara Vongkusolkit, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the delegation will include 40 representatives who will meet Myanmar businesspeople to discuss possible partnership on investment and financial and capital market development.
The Thai delegation is also due to meet Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
"We will discuss investment, particularly along the border, and improvement of roads such as those linking Singkhon and Myeik as well as Phu Nam Ron and Dawei. We will also talk about a joint special economic zone between Mae Sot and Myawaddy," said Mr Isara.
He said as the Asean Economic Community enters its second year, Thailand needs to capitalise on the pact to boost trade and investment in the bloc as much as possible. Thailand is also in dire need of proactive approaches to expand trade with neighbouring nations and border trade, said Mr Isara.
The Commerce Ministry forecast Thailand's border trade is expected to grow at least 3% this year, driven by the growing economies of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam and the popularity of Thai products in those markets.
Adul Chotinisakorn, deputy director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said recently border trade prospects remained promising as the economies of those four countries are expected to continue growing by 6-7% a year.
This year the department vows to come up with new strategic plans to drive border trade, including new border checkpoints at Ban Laem and Ban Pakkard in Pong Nam Ron district to link Thailand's Chanthaburi to Cambodia's Battambang and Pailin provinces, Prachuap Khiri Khan's Sing Khon border crossing with Myanmar's Myeik, and Loei's Tha Li border crossing to Laos.
The government also plans to ramp up the Young Entrepreneur Network Development Programme.