SONGKHLA: Thai junta government will accelerate development projects in its southern provinces to tap the economic prospects from the rolling out of catalyctic projects near the Malaysia-Thai border town in Bukit Kayu Hitam.
Songkhla governor Dondej Phatnarat said several projects are in the pipeline as the Thai government expedite development initiatives in the area.
He said besides the economic activity, the government is also focusing on developing infrastructures to further enhance its appeal among visitors from Malaysia and other countries.
“There are many interesting projects being carried out to improve southern Thai appeals as many Malaysians are coming here during festive seasons and school-breaks.
“As rapid development is taking shape in Bukit Kayu Hitam, we need to move fast to prepare for the arrival of higher volume of visitors,” he said when receiving a courtesy visit by Kedah media club and southern Thai media club at his office in Songkhla City Hall recently.
Other than tourism, Dondej said the trade between both nations are also showing favourable trend as manufacturing products from southern Thai are being shipped to Penang seaport via Bukit Kayu Hitam, in Kedah and Padang Besar in Perlis.
Present were Kedah Media Club president Mohd Rafie Azimi and southern Thai Media Club president Chaiyong Maneerungsakul and Yala Media Club president Karim Raman Siriwong.
Dondej said the trade between both countries are set to strengthen further by the development projects in border towns of Sadao in southern Thai and Bukit Kayu Hitam in Malaysia.
“Thai and Malaysia enjoy a very good relationship and we wish to continue strengthening the relationship through economic activities which are going to generate enormous economic benefits to both nations,” he said.
He added that the extension of southern Thai-Malaysia border checkpoints to 24 hours by next year will further spur economic activities especially the transportation of goods from southern Thai for the export markets through north Malaysian states.
In October, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the approval of a Special Border Economic Zone in Bukit Kayu Hitam to tap into the booming economic activities in southern Thailand.
While tabling of 2018 Budget in October, Najib said through the initiative, Bukit Kayu Hitam will be gazetted as a Free Trade Zone and a duty-free township.
It was also reported that Kedah government hoped that the catalytic project would help to transform the Malaysian-Thai border town into the next Iskandar Malaysia.