Deputy foreign minister backs Mekong region trade

Photo courtesy of The Nation

To revitalise cross-border commerce, the Thailand deputy foreign minister made a pivotal visit to Chiang Saen Port on Monday, accentuating its pivotal role in the lower Mekong region.

With cross-border trade in Chiang Rai soaring to an estimated 100 billion baht last year, according to the Foreign Ministry, the port’s strategic location where the Kok and Mekong Rivers converge offers a gateway to Laos and Myanmar, while also providing the most direct route to China’s southern provinces.

Jakkapong Sangmanee underlined the port’s significance.

“Road transport has been the norm for exports, but with deteriorating highways causing longer travel times and increased expenses, shipping by boat emerges as a viable solution.”

Related news

Engagement with Chinese counterparts is underway to simplify procedures for Thai exporters once their goods reach Chinese ports, as the Mekong River significantly traverses Thailand’s Northeastern and Northern provinces before emptying into the sea in southern Vietnam.

Addressing concerns about visa regulations, Jakkapong affirmed that 99% of Thai visitors to Japan adhere to visa regulations. However, the rising number of overstayers necessitates a closer examination of their activities.

Initiatives to streamline visa applications for Thai nationals seeking employment in Japan are being explored, with Japan reportedly open to simplifying the process.

Furthermore, discussions to waive visa requirements for Thai travellers align with broader efforts by the EU to enhance relations with Southeast Asia, attracting interest from various European nations, reported The Nation.

Jakkapong emphasised ongoing efforts to bolster ties through diplomatic channels.

“Building multilateral agreements takes time, but it remains a priority for our government.”

In related news, the Mekong River, a lifeline stretching almost 5,000 kilometres from the Tibetan Plateau to the South China Sea, is under grave threat. A recent report reveals that unsustainable development is severely endangering the river’s health and diverse fish populations. Consequently, one-fifth of the fish species in this Southeast Asian lifeline are on the brink of extinction.

Bangkok NewsBusiness NewsEconomy NewsPolitics NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

Related Articles