Thai-Burmese Border Closure Costs Thailand Millions a Day

The Thai-Burmese order has been closed for more than one month, and no one knows when it will reopen again.

This is causing a whole lot of problems. Especially at the main overland border crossing point between Myawaddy in Karen State in Burma and Mae Sot in Tak Province of northern Thailand.

One of the consequences is that after the border closed, many Burmese workers in Thailand no longer use the Myawaddy crossing to return to their homes, said a Burmese money changer in Myawaddy accoring to The Irrawaddy.

“Is used to earn 3,000 kyat ($3.1) a day. But, no one is coming to exchange money now so I have no income, but who can I complain to?” he said.

Many people who live in Myawaddy Township are no longer able to pay monthly rents of around 30,000 kyat ($US 31.6) for apartments and they have – increasingly – chosen to share.

People, who have lost jobs, are going out into the country to dig for bamboo shoots to sell in town. They earn around two dollars for a day of hard work.

The border closure affects all kinds of people living near it, truck drivers, taxi drivers, market stall-holders, restaurant owners, traders, guesthouse owners.

It was closed on July 7, when the Burmese regime stopped all trade in protest at the Thai government construction to prevent erosion of the river bank on the Thai side of the River Moei that separates the two countries.

The closure is estimated to cost Thailand around 88 million baht a day – or 2.8 million dollars.

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