Mawtaung-Singkhon border likely to become permanent checkpoint

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The general view of the Mawtaung-Singkhon border.

Thailand’s cabinet has been planning to open the Singkhon crossing connecting with Myanmar’s Mawtaung border as a permanent checkpoint. The Singkhon post, located in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province which shares a border with Mawtaung Township, Taninthayi Region, will be upgraded to be a permanent checkpoint to bolster bilateral cross-border trade. Traders from both countries engaged in that border trade expressed their willingness for Singkhon post to become a full-time checkpoint, citing reports from Thailand’s media agencies. “Thailand’s businesspeople are pushing authorities for it. Thailand’s ministers for Defence and Foreign Affairs visited the Singkhon border on 14 May 2024, marking the first-ever visit of the highest-ranked officials. There’s a high expectation of opening Singkhon as the permanent checkpoint to accelerate border trade with Myanmar, said a trader executing border trade with Thailand at the Mawtaung border. At present, it has yet to be defined to conduct international trade. It is just a temporary crossing for now. “The trade is regularly flowing at the Mawtaung-Singkhon checkpoint. With Thailand’s western economic corridor initiative, they eye the Mawtaung-Singkhon-Bangkok trade route rather than the Hteekhee-Kanchanaburi trade channel. The Phayathonzu border is not an option for now. The delay in the Myawady-Mae Sot border prompted Thailand’s authority to explore another border checkpoint. They went to uninhibited land at the border and discussed matters regarding the trade potential, benefits and difficulties upon upgrading the permanent checkpoint. The two ministers said they will undertake negotiations with Myanmar’s counterparts, according to reports from Thailand’s media outlets.
The Mawtaung border, located in Mawtaung Township, Myeik District, Taninthayi Region, was opened as the permanent checkpoint on 8 May 2013. One year later, Thailand’s Singkhon border was designated as a special temporary border checkpoint. Thailand has not yet given the green light to the border pass of the people despite ongoing bilateral border trade. — Myint Oo (Myeik)/EM

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