The second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, across the Moei River in Mae Sot district of Thailand’s north-western province of Tak, was officially opened to traffic today (Wednesday). The new crossing is expected to help boost Thai exports to 100 billion baht a year, from 78 billion at present.

The opening ceremony was jointly led by Thai Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob and U Han Saw, Myanmar’s minister of construction.  Mr. Saksayam also handed over an office building, a border road and office equipment to Myanmar.

Mr. Saksayam said that the first Friendship Bridge had helped facilitate land passage from Mae Sot to Yangon and boosted bilateral trade to about 190 billion last year, with an estimated 230,000 vehicles crossing the border annually.

The minister indicated that a third bridge could be built in the future, if road traffic and trade over the two existing bridges increases to a level that justifies another crossing.

As agreed by the joint committee for the management and maintenance of the second friendship bridge, it will be open to six-wheel and larger trucks, passenger vans and buses with more than 13 seats, while the old bridge will be open to passenger cars an smaller buses.  The second bridge is open from 6.30am to 6.30pm.

Border crossing fees are 50 baht for seven-seat four-wheel cars, 100 baht for mini buses with 7-12 seats, 150 baht for medium-sized buses with 13-24 seats, 200 baht for buses with more than 24 seats, 50 baht for four-wheel trucks, 250 baht for six wheelers, 350 baht for ten-wheel trucks and 500 baht for articulated lorries.

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