The Mon State Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s chair Nai Win Htein told Thai entrepreneurs that his organization will urge the government to officially re-open the Three Pagodas Pass border gate, which has been closed for over a decade.
“As everyone has advised, we are interested in opening the official border gate [linking] Payathonzu (Three Pagodas Pass) and Kanchanaburi. The local residents are also interested. We will work effectively on urging respective government levels to [open the border gate],” Nai Win Htein said on February 4.
A twenty-eight member delegation from the Mon State Chamber of Commerce and Industry met with the Thai Chamber of Commerce delegation from four provinces of Thailand – Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Suphanburi, and Nakhon-Pathom provinces – at BSN Factory Outlet building near Three Pagoda Pass Village on Thailand’s side and discussed issues on boosting regional tourism, electricity sector, rubber finished product factory, and fruits and agriculture sector.
A Thai entrepreneur discussed about obtaining a 14-day mutual visit between the Mon State and Thailand’s Kanchanaburi. According to him, the Thai government is ready to allow it and only the permission from the Myanmar government is needed.
However, the Kayin State Chief Minister Daw Nan Khin Htwe Myint told Payathonzu residents on February 3 that the border gate cannot be opened at the moment due to lack of clear-cut border demarcation between Myanmar and Thailand, but both governments are working on completing the border demarcation.
“This place (Payathonzu) will become developed when the communication lines improve, trading is faster, and the gate has been opened in the future. The economic path will be opened soon. It’s not only for our state. One can also travel to the Mon State,” Daw Nan Khin Htwe Myitnt said during the public meeting in Payathonzu.
Payathonzu is located in the Kayin State and it only takes three hours to travel from the town to the Mon State’s Thanbyuzayat, which is over 60 miles away.
Dr Banyar Aung Moe, a former Amyotha Hluttaw MP and a community elder of Payathonzu, told Mon News Agency that the government should not mix up border demarcation and economy in order to boost regional economy.
“The disputed [area] is only one mile long. It won’t be easy to open the gate only after measuring this area and setting down a fair border line. It won’t be easy to reach mutual understanding. So, a new border gate should be opened in a non-disputed area. Leave the disputed area as it is for now,” he said.
He suggested the establishment of a new border gate in the town’s northern or southern area, which shares border with Thailand.