A second Myanmar-Thai Friendship Bridge across the Moei River in Tak’s Mae Sot district will be officially opened on 30 October, according to a press release from Thailand Highways Department. The bridge will not only boost trade between both countries but also stimulate cross-border tourism. The new checkpoint, however, will not accept foreign travellers for the time being.
The opening ceremony will be co-chaired by Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob and Myanmar’s Minister of Construction Han Zaw. The Thai ambassador to Yangon and the Myanmar ambassador to Bangkok, as well as other high-level officials of the two countries, will also attend the ceremony.
The second bridge is part of the Mekong Economic Corridors scheme where Burma is located on two major economic corridors – the East-West Economic Corridor connecting Vietnam’s Dong Ha City with Rangoon’s Thilawa Special Economic Zone via Cambodia and Thailand, and the Southern Economic Corridor connecting central Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand to the Dawei Special Economic Zone in south-eastern Burma.The construction of the 270-meter-long bridge started in 2015 with a total cost, including the bridge and its approach roads, estimated at THB 4.2 billion (approx. US$ 138.5 million).
After the official opening, vehicles will cross the bridge from the Thai side of the river to the Myanmar side in a dry run. The Thai and Myanmar ministers will then proceed to open the second border checkpoint at Ban Wang Takhian Tai in tambon Tha Sai Luat of Mae Sot district.
The second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge will accommodate cross-border trade between Tak province and Myanmar’s Myawaddy.
While the new bridge will enhance the Natural Strategic Partnership between Thailand and Myanmar, it will only facilitate travels for the nationals of both countries.
(Sources: Bangkok Post-Karen News)