Second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge Opens to Boost Trade
Local businesses are optimistic that the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, inaugurated today (30/10), will boost cross-border trade.
The bridge, which is expected to be the most efficient link between Tak province and Myanmar's most prominent cities, connects with the Mae Sot-Myawaddy permanent border checkpoint and the Mae Sot-Myawaddy customs checkpoint, Bangkok Post reported.
The opening of the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge is expected to boost Thailand's cross-border trade as all goods transport routes will be diverted to this new route in the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC), said Suchat Triratwatthana, a businessman and adviser to Tak’s chamber of commerce.
The EWEC is also known as the R9 route that serves Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.
The transport of goods on all other border routes through Myanmar to a third country will likely be diverted to this new route and through the Mae Sot-Myawaddy customs checkpoint, he said.
This new route is now the fastest and most convenient way to access prominent cities in Myanmar, he said.
According to Xinhua, the Department of Foreign Trade's latest data indicated that border trade between Thailand and Myanmar over the first eight months of 2019 was valued at 133.86 billion baht (4.396 billion U.S.dollars), marking an increase of 4.73 percent from the same period last year.
However, exports were only worth 68.9 billion baht (2.262 billion U.S. dollars), down by 4.1 percent, while imports accounted for 64.9 billion baht (US 2.131 billion dollars), up 16.08 billion.
The Vice Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Niyom Wairatpanij, said the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge will lift the value of border trade exports to 100 billion baht from the current 80 billion baht (2.6 billion dollars).
Thailand's main exports to Myanmar included diesel and refined oil, capital goods, construction tools and machinery.