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New highway links should boost trade with GMS

Ministry positive about new routes to Laos, Vietnam and China

The Commerce Ministry has suggested that Thai traders and investors take advantage of new highway links do more business in Laos, Vietnam and southern China.

Businesses that appear to have a brighter future along with the new Routes 8 and 12 are restaurants, car maintenance, convenience stores, hotels, spas, and language and computer-training institutes.

After leading an official team to survey the R8 and R12 roadways, Jintana Chaiyawonnagal, deputy director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department, said the routes would facilitate more trade, investment, and logistics growth between Thailand and Laos, Vietnam and southern China.

"Under the upcoming Asean Economic Community, Thai enterprises should urgently explore new routes in Asean so that they can find new opportunities for doing and expanding businesses in other Asean countries and partner nations," Jintana said.

The department found that R8 and R12 were key roadways for delivery of Thai goods to Laos, the upper central part of Vietnam, and southern China. Thai products that are delivered on these routes are mainly fruits, cattle, electrical appliances, and consumer goods.

Jintana said more tourists, businesspeople and trucks would use R8 and R12, which would increase demand for goods and many services.

Routes 8 and 12 are among the logistical developments backed by the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) since the 2012 leaders' summit. However, the highways have not yet been included in the economic corridor, so there are still some barriers in terms of border regulations. Thailand is attempting to eliminate such barriers for facilitate trade growth on these routes under the GMS's Cross Border Trade Agreement.

The Trade Negotiations Department's survey of the new routes covered 1,200 kilometres from Vientiane to the Third Friendship Bridge in Thailand.


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