Thailand hosts southern border summit to boost security, trade with neighbours


Government and business leaders from Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore met in Songkhla on Friday for talks on enhancing border security and trade.

The summit is a follow-up to the meeting between Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and his Malaysian counterpart Anwar Ibrahim last Monday.

The two PMs agreed plans for construction of a new road to Songkhla’s Sadao checkpoint to increase cross-border trade and travel between the Thai deep South and Malaysia’s Kedah state.

As he presided over the opening ceremony on Friday, deputy PM Somsak Thepsutin hoped the trilateral talks would speed up the project and also help business matching for logistics operators using the checkpoint once completed.

Malaysian authorities also suggested measures to enhance national security and boost the economy in border areas, he added.

The measures included increasing religious study at vocational schools, investment promotions for Malaysian businesses to open factories in Thailand, joint training for natural disaster prevention and mitigation, and intelligence sharing between security agencies to combat transnational crime and drug syndicates.

On the business matching front, Somsak said that Malaysian operators are interested in importing Thai products to sell as Halal-certified items that will appeal to local markets.