Mekong Institute (MI) organized an online dissemination workshop on “Core trade infrastructure and facilities in border areas of the Lancang-Mekong countries” on October 22. The workshop was held as part of “Study on Core Trade Infrastructure and Facilities in Border Areas of the Lancang-Mekong Countries” with an aim to present and validate study results and findings, as well as obtain perspectives and discuss pertinent issues related to cross-border trade. 52 representatives of custom offices in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand as well as relevant private enterprises from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam attended the workshop.
The main finding of the study – as presented in the workshop - was that most land borders in the Lancang-Mekong region operate efficiently and time required to cross land borders is significantly lower than time needed to cross sea borders. Suggestions to further enhance efficiency of cross-border trade included extending opening hours of border gates, stepping up efforts to introduce online document submission, shifting the export-import clearance processes from border check points to dry ports, industrial and economic zones and sea ports, and increasing numbers of scanners at border gates.
During the discussion and Q&A session, representatives of custom offices from Cambodia and Lao PDR shared information on the progress and efforts made by the countries in improving efficiency of cross-border trade. Private stakeholders from Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam too shared their views, experiences and concerns regarding cross-border trade, including in light of current pandemic.
The study is being conducted under the project on “Upgrading Border Facilitation for Trade and Logistics Development”, implemented by MI in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) of the Royal Government of Thailand and funded by Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Special Fund (LMCSF).