Thai-Malay twin-city initiative to boost southern economic growth

Image courtesy of Think Thailand

The Thai government announced a collaboration with Malaysia to promote a twin-city concept in the Deep South, aiming to stimulate economic growth and bring peace to the region.

Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai recently chaired a meeting to review the progress of this initiative, which seeks to transform the longstanding conflict zones into thriving trade hubs through mutual economic development.

The partnership focuses on five key goals, enhancing agricultural trade and bilateral agreements, opening additional halal market channels in Malaysia, establishing a comprehensive Thailand-Malaysia trade centre, resuming border trade activities in Satun province, and forming a collaborative task force between the two countries’ respective ministries.

Under the twin-city initiative, five southern Thai provinces, Satun, Songkhla, Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat will be paired with five Malaysian states, Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Terengganu, and Kelantan, respectively.

Phumtham also provided an update on the construction of a second border bridge across the Sungai Kolok River, connecting Narathiwat and Kelantan.

Thailand’s budget for the project is set at 160 million baht, and the bridge will be designed to resemble a traditional Malay fishing boat, expected to receive project approval next month.

As part of the goal to open additional halal market channels in Malaysia, a monthly Thai food carnival is set to provide new market opportunities for Thai farmers and entrepreneurs, meanwhile, the comprehensive Thailand-Malaysia trade centre will streamline trade activities between the two nations, reported Bangkok Post.

Resuming trade activities in Satun is also seen as crucial for the local economy, especially after the disruptions caused by the pandemic.

The collaborative task force between the two countries’ ministries is expected to play a critical role in ensuring the initiative’s success.

By fostering economic growth, enhancing agricultural output, and promoting peace through strategic partnerships and infrastructure projects, the Thai-Malaysian twin-city initiative aims to bring stability and prosperity to the southern provinces.

South Thailand 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