Thailand and Cambodia are focusing on cross-border trade logistics to improve their economic competitiveness. Although these two kingdoms are on different levels of economic development, both are benefitting from Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and One Belt, One Road projects. All modes of transport are improving for better logistics performance to attract more investors.
Thailand’s consumer goods and construction materials are finding buyers in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar. The government invested along the border areas and in the tourism sector. As a result, these three countries accounted for the highest value by $13.3 billion of total border trade value of $15.8 billion in the first five months of this year. This is a total border trade rise of 6.4%. Border trade is also expected to help improve Thailand’s overall annual export volume to a 5% growth target for 2017, according to the Commerce Ministry in a recent Bangkok Post article.
Unithai, a Bangkok freight forwarding and warehouse company, remarked on the improving logistics facilities and infrastructure for cross-border trade in Thailand. “In the past 10-15 years there are more cross-border trade points. International shipments of construction materials from China such as steel to Vientiane, Lao PDR and for Thai domestic products to Lao have smooth Customs clearance for us. We contract out to 6-10 trucking companies for all trades,” said Mr. Michael Yuen, Head of Break Bulk (Parceling), Senior Director, Unithai.
A further boost to cross-border trade growth and investments is the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC), one of several corridors in the GMS backed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) by constructing roads, bridges and border ports to connect all six countries. Mukdahan on the east is across from Lao’s Savannakhet and along the corridor to eventually Vietnam to Danang seaport (327 miles) passing by millions of potential customers along the route.
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