Wed 13 Oct 2010
Filed under: Business / Trade,On The Border
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has received an assurance from his Burmese counterpart that the border adjoining Mae Sot will open to trade again soon.Burma said it closed its Myawaddy side of the border because of internal security problems but it was possible it would reopen sooner than expected, deputy government spokesman Supachai Jaisamut quoted Mr Abhisit as saying yesterday.
Mr Supachai said the prime minister did not give an exact date for when the border would open again.
The prime minister made the statement after returning from an official one-day visit to Burma on Monday where he met Prime Minister Thein Sein.
He told the cabinet yesterday he had ordered the Commerce Ministry to hold talks with Burma to seek the relaxing of a ban on 50 Thai export items, Mr Supachai said.
Mr Abhisit said the two countries also agreed to jointly develop a deep-sea port at Dawei (formerly Tavoy) in southern Burma.
Burmese authorities and Thai private sector firms are conducting a joint study of the mega-project, he said.
Mr Abhisit said the development of the deep-sea port in Dawei and some new industrial zones to be set up would help solve the problems of cross-border and transnational crime, including illegal workers and drug trafficking.
Meanwhile, loud explosions from the Burmese side of the border have been heard in Chiang Mai’s Mae Ai district starting about 6am on Sunday.
The Chiang Mai-based Shan Herald Agency for News quoted Burmese witnesses as saying at least two ammunition depots located in the compound of Burmese ordnance battalion 642 exploded on Sunday morning. The explosions continued for almost an hour, they said.
The ordnance unit is about a kilometre from the town of Mong Hsat, which is 50-60 kilometres from Mae Ai district.
“Flames engulfed the buildings storing weapons,” witnesses were quoted as saying.