CHIANG RAI – Deputy Director-General Adul Chotinisakorn of Thailand’s Foreign Trade Department will lead a mission to Myanmar’s Shan state in an attempt to boost border trade, saying the trip is scheduled for Aug 7-12 with private organisations set to join the delegation.
Mr Adul told the Bangkok Post the aim is of the trip was to expand border trade by 5% this year to 1.8 Trillion Baht.
The mission will serve as a follow-up after planning, economy and finance ministers from Shan State visited Thailand to take cues on developing tourism and other industries back home. Shan State borders China, Laos and Thailand.
This region of Myanmar welcomes investment from Thailand, particularly in hotels, restaurants, agro-industries, electricity, livestock and other tourism-related businesses, Mr Adul said.
“There are also well-known tourist destinations in Shan State such as Inle Lake and Taunggyi city that can be developed into famous attractions in the future,” he said.
Mr Adul said several Thai companies will join the trip, including the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc, the Port Authority of Thailand and Amata Corporation Plc.
Tighter trade and investment ties are expected to boost border trade, which was worth roughly 1.4 trillion baht in 2016, he said.
The figure accounts for nearly 10% of Thailand’s 13-trillion-baht GDP.
The Commerce Ministry hopes to boost border trade by 5% from 1.4 trillion last year to 1.8 trillion baht this year.
Trade value at Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai checkpoint, which borders Myanmar’s northern region close to Shan State, has climbed to 8.9 billion baht. Thai exports make up 8.7 billion baht of this, creating a huge trade surplus.
As a result, Thailand plans to hold a bilateral trade fair in Mae Sai district during Aug 25-29 to accelerate trade activities and business matchmaking.
Mr Adul said that during initial talks with the Shan State ministers they expressed interest in building a transport link from Mae Sot district in Tak to Myanmar’s Mandalay and southern China to boost consumption.