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BP: Cross-border deals up 138% in

May 18, 1998



              deals up 138% in 4

              Malaysia biggest money-spinner

              Border trade in the first four months of 1998 increased by
              138% on that for the same period of last year, Deputy Prime
              Minister Supachai Panitchpakdi said on Friday.

              Dr Supachai said the value of border-trade from January to April
              was 62.88 billion baht. Thai exports generated 50.23 billion
              baht, up by 146.6%, leaving a trade surplus of 37.57 billion
              baht, a 161.5% increase.

              Trade with Malaysia - the biggest money-spinner - increase by
              217%, while Laos and Cambodia jumped by 29% and 0.4%

              However, border trade with Burma was down by 23% because
              of the border skirmishes involving the Democratic Karen
              Buddhist Army. Dr Supachai said Thailand would meet Burmese
              officials in September to resolve the problem.

              Releasing the trade figures after a meeting of the committee in
              charge of border trade, Dr Supachai said one of the impediments
              to greater border trade is the bureaucratic process which
              involves checkpoints and checks by eight government

              He said the committee had agreed that the complicated process
              needed to be streamlined.

              The committee recommended that the Customs Department
              should take charge of all border trade and provide a one-stop
              service centre for importers and exporters.

              "Some border trade checkpoints have a few officials to run the
              work but there are lots of exports and imports documents for
              examination. Some needs special officials to supervise
              import-export live animals. Some open and close at the fixed
              time. Some especially at Pairin checkpoint in Chantraburi have
              complex procedure because they are in the areas of the martial
              law," said Dr Supachai.

              The committee asked the Department of Foreign Trade to
              establish a centre for border-trade information by September.


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Last Modified: Mon, May 18, 1998