New friendship bridge to foster Thailand-Myanmar trade hinh anh 1The second Thailand - Myanmar friendship bridge (Photo: Bangkok Post)

Bangkok (VNA) – Myanmar and Thailand have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost the transfer of goods across the second Thailand-Myanmar friendship bridge.

Crossing Moei river, the 760-metre-long bridge with four lanes connects Tak province’s Mae Sot district in Thailand to Myawaddy town in Myanmar.

Thailand funded its construction, which was worth about 3 billion baht (nearly 98.5 million USD). Aiming to alleviate congestion on the nearby first Thailand-Myanmar friendship bridge, the project also includes one-stop-service border checkpoints. Inaugurated in March, the bridge is expected to be turned into a permanent border gate between the two countries from October 30.

In a related development, Thai Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit held a meeting on October 3 with the joint public-private sector consultative committee on Thailand-Myanmar border trade promotion at Mae Sot to boost border trade between the two countries.

Laksanawisit said the ministry will be coordinating businesses in Thailand and Myanmar to increase border trade and boost bilateral ties.

In the first eight months of 2019, Thailand’s trade turnover with Myanmar reached 55 billion baht (1.8 billion USD), accounting for 18.3 percent of its total border trade volume with neighbouring countries.

With the opening of the new friendship bridge, the border trade value via Mae Sot is expected to top 100 billion baht (3.27 billion USD) in 2020, with exports from Thailand likely to increase by more than 30 percent./.