Singkhon Checkpoint to Open this Year

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The advisors to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Security Council of Thailand have monitored the Singkhon checkpoint in Prachuab Khirikhan and liaised with officials in Myanmar to map the watershed area as Thailand and Myanmar border and set up a checkpoint. The Singkhon will be open within this year.

According to the advisors, the recent monitor at the Singkhon checkpoint yielded 3 main processes Thai authorities have to carry out. The first one is indicating a clear Thai and Burmese border, using the watershed area to separate the two nations. This should be discussed with the Burmese authorities. The second process concerns how to set up a checkpoint system there. The Department of Public Works and Urban Planning of Prachuab Khirikhan Provincial Office will be responsible for this with the budget of 25 million baht. Finally, the Interior Ministry will work on setting up a Thai border checkpoint and an immigration center there.

At present, the newly elected government of Myanmar does not have any foreign affairs, interior and defense ministers, thus making coordination with the country practically impossible. However, Thai authorities can liaise with a provincial governor of Marid in Myanmar.

It was reported that Myanmar was paving a new 150-km road from Marid to Prachuab Khirikhan. This project is due to complete in this year before the Singkhon checkpoint is officially open. Top of Form ??MyanMMyanmar’s Marid is the coastal area adjacent to Ranong in Thailand. It boasts beautiful islands and marine habitats, especially fish, grouper fish, lobster, blue crab and so on which can be sent into Thailand through the Singkhon checkpoint, instead of Ranong, once it is open.

In addition, Myanmar is allowing Thai business owners to invest on tourism, hotels, guesthouses and travel agency. Now, Thai people are investing 500 million baht to construct accommodations and casinos there. Mr. Weera Sriwattanatrakul, the Prochuab Khirikhan Governor, is going to visit Rangoon and Marid with Thai officials and businesspeople to seek possibility on investment in the Myanmar border upon the opening of the Singkhon checkpoint.

If things go as planned, the opening of the Singkhon checkpoint will bring about ultimate benefit on economics to Thailand, particularly import of marine animals, agricultural products, and timber as well as daily goods to Myanmar apart from bilateral tourism cooperation.

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