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Thailand likely to have substantial trade losses following Myanmar coup

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PHOTO: Thairath

With Myanmar’s military now in power after a bloodless coup, Thailand is likely to see substantial losses when it comes to trade with the neighbouring country, possibly forgoing up to 50 million baht a day due to changes in transporting goods and strict military checkpoints.

If the military’s tight security inspections continue in the long term, Thailand could lose more than 1.5 billion baht to 2 billion baht per month, according to director of the Center for International Trade Studies at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Aat Pisanwanich.

The Thai government also needs to keep a close watch on the political stances of other countries as economic sanctions are expected against Myanmar, he says.

“We expect Myanmar’s political crisis to return to normal in the second month… However, we need to follow up political stances of the United States, Europe, Japan and allied countries and their actions or economic sanctions after the Myanmar coup.”

Economic sanctions, which the US has already threatened against Myanmar following the coup, will affect purchasing power and investments, Aat says. He adds that with lower purchasing power, Thailand will probably import fewer goods from Myanmar.

With the military now in power, the country’s investment projects are expected to freeze and international trade negotiations will be subject to review, Aat says.

“The current situation clearly demonstrates that high political uncertainty still exists in Myanmar. Though there were elections in 2015 and 2020 and the country is turning to democracy, political uncertainty will be an important factor for investors to decide further investment.”

Tak’s Mae Sot border checkpoint, a major trade route with Myanmar bringing in around 80 billion baht a year, is expected to be hit hard, according to the province’s Chamber of Commerce president Prasert Jeungkitrungrote.

“We’re waiting for an official order or announcement from the Myanmar army and we are not yet able to evaluate the impact of the incident as we have to wait and see whether the border checkpoints will be subject to closure.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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