Thailand and Myanmar expect to have cars travelling on routes between both countries this September, in a move set to bolster the regional economy.
Each country will be granted 100 licences for their transport operators who can drive into the inner areas of the countries, including three routes to Yangon and a port near the Thilawa Special Economic Zone in Myanmar, and Bangkok and Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri, Thailand’s Land Transport Department chief Phiraphon Thawonsuphacharoen said.
The two countries are selecting and examining operators’ qualifications, he said, referring to to a process required by the Greater Mekong Subregion Cross-Border Transport Agreement.
The routes, which start from Myawaddy-Mae Sot border checkpoint are aimed at supporting international tourism and logistics, Phiraphon said.
Drivers from Thailand can begin their trips in Tak’s Mae Sot district and cross the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge to Yangon and Thilawa port. Those from Myanmar can choose from two options – the Myawaddy-Mae Sot checkpoint-Mukdahan route and Mae Sot-Bangkok-Laem Chabang route.
Thailand has also signed the same cross-border transport agreement with Laos, Vietnam, Phiraphon said.
Thailand fetched 1.4 trillion THB (44.5 billion USD) from cross-border trade in 2018, up 6 percent over the previous year, but falling short of the set target of 1.5 trillion THB.
Thailand’s border trade with Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Malaysia reached 1.12 trillion THB – with exports making up 650.9 billion THB, down 0.5 percent; and imports worth 473.76 billion THB, up 11 percent.
Malaysia was the biggest partner for border trade, followed by Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia.-VNA