Thai-Malaysia border trade slows amid political uncertainty
Border trade between Thailand and Malaysia has slowed down as businesses are waiting for a clearer picture of the new Thai government.
Many Malaysian businesspeople are taking a wait-and-see approach to possible changes in government policy following the May 14 general election in Thailand, said Sitthiphong Sitthiphatprapha, president of the Hat Yai Songkhla Hotels Association.
The Sadao border checkpoint in the southern province of Songkhla has seen a decline in border trade and the number of tourists from Malaysia, according to Sitthiphong.
Sitthiphong said on Thursday that the Malaysian businesspeople that he met expressed their wish to see changes to made by Thailand’s new government regarding bilateral border trade, including more clarity about the proposed tourist tax.
The Malaysians were also waiting for clear Thai policies regarding tourism and economic development, according to Sitthiphong.
A business operator in Songkhla’s Sadao district, Sitthiphong said that border trade between Thailand and Malaysia had slowed down after the Thai national vote.
The number of tourists from Malaysia has reduced when compared to April, when tourist arrivals were as high as 10,000 per day during weekends, to about 5,000 now.
Sitthiphong said a depreciating Malaysian ringgit and an end to the long school vacation may also have caused a decline in Malaysian tourists to Thailand.