CHIANG RAI – Ms. Pakaimat Vierra Deputy Chairman of Chiang Rai’s Chamber of Commerce has called on the Thai Government to discuss ways to revive the troubled trade and transport along the Mekong River with neighboring countries, following the closure of a major port in Myanmar.
Hundreds of cargo ships from China and Laos are anchored at the port in Bokeo province in Laos and the first Chiang Saen Port in Chiang Rai province. Trade along the upper Mekong region has reportedly seen a downturn since Myanmar decided to close Sob Luay Port, a major point of transit for Thai cargo ships heading to China.
Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and China in 2001 signed an agreement on commercial transport along the Mekong River. The signatories agreed to promote transport in 14 port cities of their mutual countries. However, Sob Luay Port is not included in the list.
Deputy Chairman Pakaimat Vierra said only small-scale cargo operators still use the first Chiang Saen Port, while others have opted opted for Road 3 Asia connecting Thailand with Laos and Myanmar.
Ms. Pakaimat said the Thai government should discuss solutions to the problem with Myanmar, Lao and Chinese counterparts, otherwise trade and transport activities in Chiang Saen district could be brought to a standstill in the long run.
By VipapornÂ Pooritanasarn