Mekong Institute, under its RLED-EWEC Project, organized a business-to-business (B2B) meeting gathering 30 private sector stakeholders from the border provinces of Tak, Thailand and Myawaddy, Myanmar on February 21, 2019. Held in Mae Sot, the meeting was co-hosted by the Tak Chamber of Commerce and Myawaddy Township Border Trade Chamber of Commerce.  

The meeting served as a platform to resolve trade-related issues as well as propose corresponding solutions and recommendations toward competitive capacities and enabling environments. Discussions centered on issuance of licenses and permits, taxation and regulations, import-export procedures, and border operations. The respective parties are expected to draw a compromise on concerns that will ultimately lead to streamlined, cost- and time-efficient cross-border transactions.

Ms. Thin Thin Myat, President of Myawaddy Chamber of Commerce and Industries, described the relationship between Mae Sot and Myawaddy similar to that of sister cities – mutual and steadfast. “Not only should our two provinces engage in cross-border trade, but also jointly promote investment, industry, and tourism, among others,” she stated.

Dr. Watcharas Leelawath, MI Executive Director, underscored MI’s role as an intergovernmental organization in building linkages and promoting cooperation by stating: “We have previously organized B2B meetings between Mukdahan, Savannakhet, and Quang Tri – of which all three provinces are in the process of signing their respective MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding).” He continued, “By applying the same mechanism in Mae Sot and Myawaddy, we aim to achieve meaningful results in furthering cross-border trade between the two provinces.”  

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