Thailand, Myanmar to open Friendship Bridge 2 in May 2018
The Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge 2 is expected to open in May to facilitate cross-border transport of goods over the Thaungyin River in Myawady, Kayin State, Deputy Minister for Construction U Kyaw Lin said.
U Kyaw Lin told the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (parliament) on Monday that Thailand shouldered the cost of constructing the bridge.
With the bridge construction, border control facilities are also being built at the Thai and Myanmar border, he said.
Built under the Cross-Border Transport Agreement that Myanmar signed in 1992, the bridge is aimed at facilitating transport of people and goods and vehicle travel among the six member countries of the Greater Mekong sub-region: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and China.
“Under the agreement, when the member countries allow two-way border crossing, roads in our country need to meet international standards,” said the deputy minister U Kyaw Lin.
In the Greater Mekong sub-region, five countries have implemented cross-border transport of goods, but Myanmar has not.
During a meeting of countries that signed the Greater Mekong subregion cross-Border transport agreement in Vietnam on March 16, Myanmar and Thailand agreed to allow 50 vehicles a day from each country to pass through the Friendship Bridge 2 in 2019.
“With this agreement, vehicles, people and goods from Myanmar can enter Thailand and vehicles, people and goods from Thailand can enter Myanmar,” U Kyaw Lin said.
He added that the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge 2 will allow people, vehicles and goods to enter Myawady border town and continue travelling to Pha-an, Yangon and Pathein.
Myanmar citizens can also travel freely to Greater Mekong sub-region countries through Thailand, according to Deputy Minister U Kyaw Lin.