PM visits Thai-Myanmar border town planned to be set up as special economic zone


TAK, Jan 20 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday visited this Thai-Myanmar border province to see a business area in Mae Sot district, planned to be developed as a special economic zone, ahead of Monday’s cabinet meeting in Uttaradit.

Ms Yingluck, accompanied by the foreign minister, commerce minister and transport minister visited a market at the Moei River in Mae Sot, where the first Thai–Myanmar Friendship Bridge is located.

To ease congestion of cross-border transportation, the construction of a second friendship bridge will be considered as a solution and if the construction is approved, the new bridge is expected to be finished in 2014. The prime minister said she asked relevant agencies to study the bridge project and propose it to the cabinet.

The transport minister said what is urgent at the moment is repairing parts of the first friendship bridge by reinforcing the bridge’s columns to support the weight of heavily-loaded vehicles.

After being briefed about the planned establishment of the Mae Sot economic special zone by the Tak governor, she left for the Si Satchanalai Historical Park in Sukhothai province.

The prime minister will later travel to Uttaradit Rajabhat University to meet the joint state and private committee and to preside over a meeting with governors of the lower northern provinces.

Monday’s cabinet meeting in the lower northern province of Uttaradit is expected to discuss logistics development in the region and a new border crossing between Thailand’s Uttaradit and the Lao PDR.

The new border pass will also become a transportation hub for the lower North region as goods can also be distributed to China through this route.

Ministers on Sunday observed several development projects in five lower northern provinces, as the cabinet meeting will discuss allocation of 100 million baht budget for each province.

Infrastructure development such as roadway upgrades and flood prevention projects for the Yom River and the Nan River will be also considered at Monday’s meeting.