Thai Commerce Minister Says Country Will Double Trade With Myanmar in 5 Years

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Thailand and Myan­mar aim to double the value of trade between the two coun­tries in the next five years, Thailand’s minister of commerce has said.

Speaking during a visit Myanmar, Apiradi Tantraporn said Myan­mar was a priority trade partner for Thailand.

She was accompany­ing Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatus­ripitak early this month on his visit to Myanmar since Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government took power last year.

Trade with Myanmar’s eastern neighbour is worth hundreds of mil­lions of dollars annually, with Thailand making up around 12 percent of My­anmar’s border trade.

And with the vast ma­jority of trade between the neighbours happening over the border, Apiradi Tantraporn said overland routes were a key focus for cooperation.

A border trade centre serving Myawaddy in Ka­ren state and Mae Sot just across the frontier would be finished by the end of March, she said.

Deputy Prime Minis­ter Somkid Jatusripitak discussed the expansion of Thai-Myanmar land routes with President U Htin Kyaw in Nay Pyi Taw during the trip.

The Deputy PM said the US’s decision to remove itself from the Trans-Pa­cific Partnership, a mas­sive free trade agreement that is now all but dead after US president Trump withdrew, meant Asia has “now become the most important region.”

He called for coopera­tion among Thailand and its neighbours to push for an alternative trade pact that focuses more heav­ily on Asia, and unlike the TPP would include China.

The success of the Re­gional Comprehensive Economic Partnership depended on Thailand and others cooperating with Cambodia, Laos My­anmar and Vietnam, he said.

“Now is the time when superpowers are facing challenges,” he added. “If we are united, we will be able to address the chal­lenges and compete with other countries. As the United States recently left the Trans-Pacific Partner­ship, I believe Asia has now become the most im­portant region.”

Thailand and Myanmar signed 16 Memorandums of Understating during the visit, with agreements focusing on the digital sector, infrastructure and small and medium sized enterprises.
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Source: Myanmar Business Today

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