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Foreign tourists will soon be permitted to enter Myanmar through border trade centers in the Kayin State bordering Thailand, said Chief Minister U Zaw Min at the ASEAN Economic Forum held on May 19 in Hpa-an, its capital city.

“As a preparation for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, the foreign tourists will be allowed to enter the country through the newly opened border trade centers such as Mawtaung, Hteekhee, Myawady and Pharathonesu in the state,” he said.

Currently there are few foreign tourists who entered the country through the centers and only one-day trip is allowed.

“There is a bridge built across Thaung Rin River between Myanmar and Thailand. As much as I know, the number of foreign tourists entering the country through the border is not much now.

But opening like this will likely attract more of them. And Thailand has received a lot of tourists currently. The tourists are also interested in visiting Kayin,” said a Myanmar resident from Maesot, a town in western Thailand.




Chansak Fuangfu is photographed beside the map showing Bangkok Bank's international network which now includes Myanmar.



 Thai Banks Interested in Myanmar (Burma)

 With Myanmar liberalising its financial sector, Thai banks especially Bangkok Bank are hopeful that they would get a sizable share of business in the country. For Bangkok Bank, it hopes that the 17 years of experience in that country will raise its profile among international and local companies enthusiastic about obtaining investment information and establishing a presence in the market. Achieving bank-branch status is now the goal, to improve service to Thai companies and clients in the 13 countries where BBL is operating, said senior executive vice president Chansak Fuangfu.

For decades, no foreign bank has been able to obtain a full-branch licence in Myanmar, a country where 80 per cent of the population does not have a bank account amid the virtual absence of any electronic-payment system. Most transactions in the cash-based country were entirely in the hands of local banks, led by the state-owned Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank.