Thailand and Laos will hold the second joint cabinet retreat (JCR) in Chiang Mai later this week to discuss ways to boost bilateral cooperation, Thai Foreign Ministry has announced.

The two countries are currently upgrading their two temporary border passes to permanent status to strengthen trade and implement the issuance of single visa.

The single-stop inspection system is scheduled to be adopted at the first friendship bridge linking Thailand’s Nong Khai and Laos’ capital city of Vientiane. It is expected to reduce time for goods transport and boost exchanges.

During the retreat, the two sides will discuss the construction of two additional friendship bridges crossing the Mekong River to foster connectivity among countries in the sub-region.

The fourth friendship bridge linking Thailand’s Chiang Kong province and Huay Sai of Laos is expected to complete later this year, while another one from Bung Karn in Thailand and Paksan in Laos will be built soon.

Thailand and Laos have agreed to enhance the use of roads and Bangkok-Nong Khai railways to Laos and China.

The two sides also agreed to boost tourism promotion by applying single visa, which is included in the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong economic cooperation strategy.-VNA