NYA PYI TAW, NOVEMBER 23, 2013 The Thailand and Myanmar joint commission (JC) on bilateral cooperation on November 22nd ended on a good note, with both sides agreeing on border development aimed at increasing Myanmar’s capacities and strengthening connectivity between the two nations.
The meeting was held in Naypidaw, the administrative capital of Myanmar, where Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul and his Myanmar counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin co-chaired the meeting. The meeting covered a wide range of bilateral cooperation components including capacity building, economic cooperation, social and cultural projects as well as politics and security. The meeting has been held as part of the event to mark the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The last joint commission took place 11 years ago.
According to the Foreign Ministry’s Director of East Asia Department, Damrong Kraikruan , the next 10 years will be the decade of connectivity between Thailand and Myanmar, as both sides have agreed to speed up transportation infrastructure development to link the two countries.
Both countries have planned to complete, within three to five years’ time, at least two land links from Thailand’s Mae Sot to Kawkareik to Mawlamyine as well as from Kanchanaburi’s Three Pagoda Pass to Thanbyuzaya to Mawlamyine. When completed, these two liks would help increase trade and tourism between the two countries. Currently, the road from Mae Sot alone already facilitates more than 65 per cent of the transportation of goods between the two countries, he said.
Mr. Damrong said another project discussed during the meeting is the Dawei airport, adding that it should be renovated to facilitate air transport between Thailand and Dawei Special Economic Zone. Furthermore, Thailand has agreed to provide more assistance to help increase the capacities of Myanmar in the areas of public health, labor skill and general education.
Thailand and Myanmar also agreed to upgrade border pass facilities and open a few more permanent checkpoints at Kiew Pha Vok in Chiang Mai, Huay Ton Noon in Mae Hong Son and Singkhorn Prachuap Khiri Khan.