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Border Trade with Thailand

Individual Documents

Date of publication: June 2011
Description/subject: Contents: Foreword... Executive summary ... Introduction... 1 - Objective .... 2 - Methodology.... Part 1 - Myanmar’s cross-border trade.... 1 - Impact of sanctions on cross-border trade.... 2 - Local perceptions of cross-border trade.... 3 - The context of informal/illegal cross-border trade .... 4 - Illegal versus illicit products.... 5 - Costs and benefits of informal cross-border trade.... 6 - Case studies related to cross-border trade and its effects...... Part 2 - Cross-border mobility and human smuggling from Myanmar: 1 - Illegal border crossings... 2 - Causes and effects of cross-border mobility.... 3 - Costs and benefits of mobility .... Conclusion.....Executive summary: "Myanmar, the second biggest country in terms of area in mainland South East Asia, borders five neighboring countries: China, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, and Lao PDR. Myanmar’s longest borders are with China (approximately 1,357 miles) and Thailand (approximately 1,314 miles), and it shares coastal waters with Malaysia and Singapore. Being a member of at least nine Asia and Pacific inter-governmental organizations that include the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Upper Mekong Commercial Navigation, the Asia Pacific Fishery Commission, Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT), and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Myanmar is actively involved in various economic cooperation programs. However, the pace of Myanmar’s economic development still lags behind that of other members in these organizations. In addition, informal activities and informal moment of goods and people have been quite significant due to many factors. Although various policy measures have been developed to mitigate these informal activities, there has not been any study regarding the sources of these informal activities, their costs and benefits, impacts and consequences of the existence and nonexistence of these activities, or how these activities could be mitigated without having significant negative economic and social impacts on the local people and the economy as the whole. Without knowing causes and effects, costs and benefits, and factors behind informal activities, it is not simple to come up with restrictive policies to control them. In some cases, restrictive policies have caused severe adverse social and economic impacts on the community. Hence, it is very important that proper research is conducted in order to identify multidimensional issues that could effectively be addressed by multidimensional policies through close cooperation among the stakeholders. This paper attempts to identify factors behind causes and effects of informal flows in goods and persons across the borders between Myanmar and its neighboring countries, especially China and Thailand, and to address related issues and possible policy implications."
Author/creator: Winston Set Aung
Language: English
Source/publisher: Irasec (Carnet de l’Irasec / Occasional Paper Série Observatoire / Observatory Series No 04)
Format/size: pdf (2.54K)
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2012

Title: Stranded in Midstream
Date of publication: September 2010
Description/subject: Once again, the flow of goods across the Moei River between Burma and Thailand has been brought to a standstill by bilateral bickering and Burma’s internal tensions... "Anyone looking for clues as to why Burma lags so far behind its Southeast Asian neighbors in terms of economic development need look no further than the Friendship Bridge spanning the Moei River between Myawaddy, Burma, and Mae Sot, Thailand..."
Author/creator: Wai Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 July 2012

Title: A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS: The uncertain future of Burma’s forests
Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: A Briefing Document by Global Witness. October 2003... Table of Contents... Recommendations... Introduction... Summary: Natural Resources and Conflict in Burma; SLORC/SPDC-controlled logging; China-Burma relations and logging in Kachin State; Thailand-Burma relations and logging in Karen State... Part One: Background: The Roots of Conflict; Strategic location, topography and natural resources; The Peoples of Burma; Ethnic diversity and politics; British Colonial Rule... Independence and the Perpetuation of Conflict: Conflict following Independence and rise of Ne Win; Burma under the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP); The Four Cuts counter – insurgency campaign; The 1988 uprising and the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC); The 1990 General Election and the drafting of a new Constitution; Recent Developments: The Detention of Aung San Suu Kyi... The Administration of Burma: Where Power Lies: The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC); The Cabinet; The Three Generals; The Tatmadaw; Regional Commanders... Part Two: Logging in Burma:- The Economy: The importance of the timber trade; Involvement of the Army; Bartering; Burma’s Forests; Forest cover, deforestation rates and forest degradation... The Timber Industry in Burma: The Administration of forestry in Burma; Forest Management in Burma, the theory; The Reality of the SPDC-Controlled Timber Trade... Law enforcement: The decline of the Burma Selection System and Institutional Problems; Import – Export Figures; SPDC-controlled logging in Central Burma; The Pegu Yomas; The illegal timber trade in Rangoon; SLORC/SPDC control over logging in ceasefire areas... Ceasefires: Chart of armed ethnic groups. April 2002; Ceasefire groups; How the SLORC/SPDC has used the ceasefires: business and development... Conflict Timber: Logging and the Tatmadaw; Logging as a driver of conflict; Logging companies and conflict on the Thai-Burma border; Controlling ceasefire groups through logging deals... Forced Labour: Forced labour logging... Opium and Logging: Logging and Opium in Kachin State; Logging and Opium in Wa... Conflict on the border: Conflict on the border; Thai-Burmese relations and ‘Resource Diplomacy’; Thais prioritise logging interests over support for ethnic insurgents; The timber business and conflict on the Thai-Burma border; Thai Logging in Karen National Union territory; The end of SLORC logging concessions on the Thai border; The Salween Scandal in Thailand; Recent Logging on the Thai-Burma border... Karen State: The Nature of Conflict in Karen State; The Karen National Union (KNU); The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA); Logging in Karen State; Logging and Landmines in Karen State; Charcoal Making in Nyaunglebin District... The China-Burma Border: Chinese-Burmese Relations; Chinese-Burmese relations and Natural Resource Colonialism; The impact of logging in China; The impact of China’s logging ban; The timber trade on the Chinese side of the border... Kachin State: The Nature of Conflict in Kachin State; The Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO); Jade and the KIA’s insurgent Economy; Dabak and Mali Hydroelectric Power Projects; The New Democratic Army (Kachin) (NDA(K)); The Kachin Defence Army (KDA); How the ceasefires have affected insurgent groups in Kachin State; HIV/AIDS and Extractive Industries in Kachin State ; Logging in Kachin State; Gold Mining in Kachin State; The N’Mai Hku (Headwaters) Project; Road Building in Kachin State... Wa State: Logging in Wa State; Timber Exports through Wa State; Road building in Wa State; Plantations in Wa State... Conclusion... Appendix I: Forest Policies, Laws and Regulations; National Policy, Laws and Regulations; National Commission on Environmental Affairs; Environmental policy; Forest Policy; Community Forestry; International Environmental Commitments... Appendix II: Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG): Ministerial Declaration... References. [the pdf version contains the text plus maps, photos etc. The Word version contains text and tables only]
Language: English (Thai & Kachin summaries)
Source/publisher: Global Witness
Format/size: pdf (4 files: 1.8MB, 1.4MB, 2.0MB, 2.1MB) 126 pages
Alternate URLs: http://www.globalwitness.org
Date of entry/update: 20 July 2010

Title: La Thaïlande, cheval de Troie de la Birmanie: une alliance paradoxale
Date of publication: January 2000
Description/subject: "TROIS mois après la prise d'otages à l'ambassade de Birmanie à Bangkok - le 2 octobre 1999 - dont le dénouement pacifique avait causé la fureur de la junte de Rangoun, les frontières terrestres avec la Thaïlande ont été rouvertes. La fermeture, qui avait paralysé une partie de l'économie birmane, illustre la relation tumultueuse qu'entretiennent les deux voisins, de plus en plus alliés bien que souvent tiraillés par des intérêts contradictoires...Sous le sacro-saint prétexte du développement, et au nom de la lutte contre la crise économique, les Thaïlandais risquent de donner un feu vert aux dirigeants birmans pour poursuivre en toute tranquillité leur répression des populations appartenant principalement aux minorités ethniques..."
Author/creator: André et Louis Boucaud
Language: Francais, French
Source/publisher: Le Monde Diplomatique
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003