Myanmar-Thai border trade set to continue growing in 2020

Myanmar-Thai border trade set to continue growing in 2020

Vehicles pass around the gate of Myawaddy border trade zone near Mae Sot, Thailand. Photo - EPA

Border trade between Thailand and Myanmar is set to increase this year thanks to the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge and the implementation of Cross Border Transport Facilitation Agreement (CBTA).

The second Thai- Myanmar Friendship bridge connecting Myawady in Myanmar and Mae Sot in Thailand opened in October of 2019.

Meanwhile, the CBTA, which also came into effect and authorises goods vehicles from each country to cross the border and stay for 30 days.

Trade volume between Myanmar and Thailand in fiscal year2018-19 hit a total of US$5.4 billion (K7.7 trillion) in total. According to the ministry, Myanmar’s exports to Thailand reached US$3.2 billion while imports hit US$2.1 billion.

Among three trade points along the border between Myanmar and Thailand, Myawady-Mae Sot route is the most important, carrying around 70 percent of trade between the countries.

Under the cross-border transportation agreement, vehicles from Myanmar will stop at Mae Sot for customs inspections and continue to the port city of Laem Chabang, Thailand where goods can be loaded and unloaded. Similarly, Thai vehicles will be able to gain access to the Thilawa Special Economic Zone near Yangon.

Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce statistics already show that trade through the Myawady-Mae Sot route in the last four months of fiscal year 2019-20 had risen to US$330 million compared with US$260 million in the same period a year ago.

Myanmar’s exports to Thailand were primarily agriculture and livestock products, and imports from Thailand were mainly non-alcoholic beverages, fabric and yarn, motorcycles and related parts, and construction material. Thailand is Myanmar’s second-largest trade partner and third-largest foreign investor.

Source: Myanmar Times

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