🌍 Strengthening Thailand-Laos Relations through Trade and Infrastructure 🤝 Thailand and Laos are set to increase their bilateral trade value to $11 billion in the next two years, as they discuss collaboration in areas such as trade, investment, energy, and transport connectivity. Together, they aim to enhance infrastructure, combat cross-border haze pollution, and boost cooperation through signed documents. #Thailand #Laos #TradeRelations #InfrastructureDevelopment #BilateralCooperation #CollaborationGoals #StrongerTogether
Envisioning a $11bn Trade Value
In an endeavor to bolster their bilateral trade value to a striking US$11 billion (equivalent to 395.7 billion baht) within the forthcoming two years, Thailand and Laos have decided to join forces. This promising development was shared by government spokesman Chai Wacharonke, following a vital meeting between Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin of Thailand and Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone.
The meeting, which took place during an official visit to the neighboring country, comprised discussions on a plethora of subjects, varying from trade and investment, energy cooperation, rail and road connectivity, to transport and logistics, and security cooperation.
The Growth Area: Laos and Northeast Thailand
During the talks, Prime Minister Srettha expressed his eagerness to fortify the economic ties between Thailand and Laos. His vision involved transforming Laos and Northeast Thailand into a potent “growth area”. He further urged both nations to brainstorm strategies to escalate bilateral trade to $11 billion by 2025.
In line with this objective, Thailand has shown readiness to facilitate a meeting between its Commerce Ministry and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Laos to lay out plans to bring this ambition to fruition.
Strengthening Infrastructure and Transport Connectivity
A highlight of the meeting was Prime Minister Srettha’s endorsement of the Lao government’s policy to metamorphose the country into a significant regional “land link”. To help materialize this vision, Thailand has offered to collaborate with Laos to enhance the infrastructure and transport connectivity between the two countries.
Part of the strategy includes accelerating efforts to finalize the construction of a new railway bridge over the Mekong River. This bridge would connect the northeastern province of Nong Khai with Vientiane, the Lao capital. In a generous move, Thailand has proposed to provide a soft loan to Laos to fund this pivotal project.
Enhancing Logistics and Energy Cooperation
Prime Minister Srettha also urged Laos to establish transparent cargo-handling charges at the Vientiane Logistic Park, the country’s premier integrated logistics facility. This measure is aimed at aiding Thai operators in planning their cargo transport expediently.
In addition, there was a call for Laos to permit entry to trucks from Thailand as was the practice prior to the coronavirus outbreak. Thailand also showed interest in purchasing more clean energy from Laos to propel its industrial growth.
Joint Efforts against Cross-Border Haze Pollution
Both nations recognized the urgent need to combat the issue of cross-border haze pollution. They consented to expedite a joint action plan involving Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar to tackle this environmental concern.
Furthermore, Thailand has committed to support Laos in developing a fire risk map and providing training for its officials.
Conclusion of the Meeting: Signed MOUs and Inauguration
Following their productive dialogue, the two prime ministers witnessed the signing of several cooperation documents between Thailand and Laos. These included a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on an exchange between the Culture Ministry and the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of Laos.
After the meetings, Prime Minister Srettha and his Lao counterpart inaugurated the Khamsavath railway station in Vientiane. This new station has the potential to promote tourism and stimulate cross-border trade between the two countries.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How are Thailand and Laos planning to increase their bilateral trade value?
Thailand and Laos have set a goal to increase their bilateral trade value to a considerable $11 billion within the next two years. This was decided upon during a crucial meeting between the Prime Ministers of both countries, where numerous topics such as trade, investment, energy, transport, and logistics were discussed. A meeting is anticipated between Thailand’s Commerce Ministry and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Laos to strategize a roadmap to achieve this objective.
2. What is the plan to strengthen infrastructure and transport connectivity between Thailand and Laos?
Thailand and Laos have agreed to collaborate on enhancing infrastructure and transport connectivity. A key aspect of this strategy is the construction of a new railway bridge over the Mekong River, which will link Nong Khai, a province in northeast Thailand, with Vientiane, the Lao capital. Thailand has even proposed to offer a soft loan to Laos to finance this crucial connectivity project.
3. What joint actions are planned to tackle cross-border haze pollution?
Recognizing the pressing need to address the issue of cross-border haze pollution, Thailand and Laos agreed to implement a joint action plan involving Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. In addition, Thailand has committed to assist Laos in developing a fire risk map and providing training to its officials to combat this environmental concern more effectively.