Thailand planning logistics hub at northern borders

Business and trade between Thailand and its northern neighbors could soon grow exponentially as the Ministry of Commerce considers a plan to build a logistics hub in Chiang Rai province.

Deputy Government Spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said that the area would be developed into a cross-border trade, transport and logistics hub and a special economic zone to facilitate regional commerce.

The project would dovetail with the Kingdom’s national infrastructure upgrade. Thailand’s government is spending tens of billions of dollars and working in partnership with the private sector to build or improve roads, airports, seaports, communications links and systems. The goal is to lift the country’s competitiveness and stay ahead of regional rivals in trade and commerce.

The Chiang Rai hub would connect the Kingdom more closely with the neighboring countries like Laos, Myanmar, and Viet Nam. Chiang Rai is the Kingdom’s northernmost province. One of its advantages is that it is connected to the Mekong River, which courses through Southeast Asia.

The logistics hub, planned for the district of Chiang Khong, is also connected to other crucial infrastructure, such as the R3A Highway that stretches from Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan province, down to Bangkok.

Thailand’s advanced development and cutting-edge infrastructure have mainly been clustered around Bangkok and surrounding provinces. Expanding development to border provinces has been a challenge because they are more remote and not as saturated with manufacturing and economic activity.

However, Thailand’s neighbors represent green markets for many investors. As their economies are growing rapidly, their companies are also looking for transports and logistics centers to move their goods and connect to global trade pathways.