Border trade soars in Ubon Ratchathani
Thailand's trade with Laos and Vietnam through the Chong Mek border crossing in Ubon Ratchathani is up by 22% over last year.
Rangsarit Patthanathong, customs chief at Chong Mek, said on Thursday the value of trade through the border crossing totalled 17 billion baht from January to July this year. This was an increase of 22% year-on-year.
He attributed the rise to Ubon Ratchathani's trade partnerships with Champasak province of Laos and Quan Nam and Kon Tum provinces of Vietnam.
The value of trade through Chong Mek amounted to 16 billion baht last year. The majority was Thai exports to the Lao and Vietnamese provinces. The value of border trade last year increased by 16% over 2012.
Mr Rangsarit said trade was rising because the Lao economy was growing. A road from Chong Mek to Champasak province had been widened to four lanes, he said.
To support development of tourist areas in Laos, Thailand was exporting construction materials and machinery as well as furniture and oil through Chong Mek to Laos, Mr Rangsarit said. Imports through the border were mainly farm products, particularly bananas, cabbages and tamarind, and processed wood.
Mr Rangsarit said customs procedures would be streamlined at Chong Mek to speed up the passage of cargo.