Three Thailand-Laos border checkpoints reopen for trade exchange hinh anh 1Deputy government spokeswoman Ratchada Thanadirek (Photo:
Bangkok (VNA) – The Thai cabinet on March 3 approved the reopening of three border checkpoints linking Thailand and Laos, which were closed down last year to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy government spokeswoman Ratchada Thanadirek said the checkpoints are Prak Saeng in Ubon Ratchathani, Chiang Khan in Loei and Hai Soke in Nong Khai.

She said the cabinet came to the decision after the Joint Public and Private Sector Consultative Committee on Commerce proposed the reopening so that cross-border trade between the two nations could help spur its exports.

However, the reopening will apply only to the transport of goods and products, she said, adding strict COVID-19 prevention measures will be put in place at the checkpoints.

Laos is currently the second-largest cross-border trade partner of Thailand, just after Malaysia. Last year, total cross-border trade between the two nations topped 190 billion THB (6.27 billion USD), a year-on-year drop of 3.85 percent.

Thailand’s total trade via border gates contracted 1.7 percent in 2020 due to COVID-19 and strong THB.

The Ministry of Commerce projected cross-border trade to jump 3-6 percent this year on the back of COVID-19 vaccine distributions and global economic recovery./.