New bridge boosts Thai-Myanmar ties
Bilateral border trade between Thailand and Myanmar is expected to flourish after the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge becomes fully operational, starting from Oct 30. Niyom Wairatpanich, vice-chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the bridge is vital to boost border trade between the two countries, increasing trade flow and logistics services through Mae Sot.
Thailand’s border trade with Myanmar totalled 193 billion baht last year, up 4.9% from a year before. Border trade through Mae Sot amounted to 80 billion baht in 2018. For the first eight months, Thailand-Myanmar trade accounted for 18.3% of total border trade volume, totalling 55.0 billion baht, a 4.27% decrease. Exports made up 47.1 billion baht, down 14.6%, with imports worth 7.88 billion, up 6.63%. The top five exports through Mae Sot were energy drinks, motorcycles, diesel oil, mobile phones with components, and dried betel nut, while the top five imports were corn, live cows and buffaloes, old slabs, and transformers.
With the new friendship bridge, the border trade value via Mae Sot is expected to top 100 billion baht in 2020. Exports from Thailand are likely to increase by more than 30% once the new bridge is open. Mae Sot contributes a major share — up to 60% — of total border trade between Thailand and Myanmar, followed by Mae Sai and Ranong-Kaw Thaung checkpoints.
Source: Bangkok Post
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