Thailand urged to open border checkpoints to revive trade with Myanmar
BANGKOK — The government has been urged to open Thai-Myanmar border checkpoints to facilitate the transportation of goods and save the local economy worth over Bt80 billion ($2.5 billion).
Tak Chamber of Commerce president Prasert Jeungkitrungrote on Friday (May 8) said: “We expect that due to Covid-19, this year’s trade volume between Thailand and Myanmar could drop by 20 per cent from over Bt80 billion in 2019,” he said. “The government’s shutdown order has resulted in border checkpoints in Mae Sot district being quiet for over a month, affecting traders from both countries.”
Tak’s Mae Sot district shares borders with Myanmar’s Myawaddy province with more than 20 border checkpoints and two connecting bridges. “Currently all checkpoints have been shut down, only the 2nd Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge is open with strict screening measures,” added Prasert.
“Myanmar is still ordering products from Thailand, but at a significantly lower volume, while tourism in the areas has been down by roughly 90 per cent.
“We would like to ask the government to allow the transport of products through 20 border checkpoints in Tak to resume as normal, which should not affect the attempt to control the spread of Covid-19,” said Prasert. “It should help the local economy recover faster before the outbreak is over.”
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