Laos and Thailand have set sight on increasing two-way trade value from 5.4 billion USD currently to 8 billion USD within the next three years in a meeting held in Bangkok last week.

At the meeting, Lao Minister of Industry and Trade Khemmani Pholsena and her Thai counterpart Chatchai Sarikulya discussed measures to further border trade as well as necessary conditions for the two sides to prepare for their participation in the ASEAN Economic Community by the end of this year.

The Ministers agreed to speed up a plan to develop border areas, especially the establishment of special economic zones along the border towns including Mukdahan-Savannakhet, Nong Khai- Vientiane, Nakhon Phanom- Khammouan and Chieng Khong- Bokeo.

Laos and Thailand will set up a joint border trade committee as a key mechanism to push for and supervise economic links of their key border towns.

At the event, the Lao Minister said that Laos will handle transport issues by facilitating the movement of goods to southern China along highway R3A, a key route connecting Thailand, Laos and China.

She also pledged to solve the existing obstacles hindering imports and exports between the two nations.

According to the Vientiane Times, Laos and Thailand enjoyed a yearly two-way trade growth of 6.3 percent to 5.44 billion USD in 2014.-VNA