Thailand shares a 1,754-kilometer border with Laos, including land borders and parts of the Mekong River. Since the end of the Cold War, this border has undergone
significant changes in bilateral relations. In 1994, the opening of the first Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge connecting Nong Khai Province to Vientiane paved the way for the Geometrical Economic Cooperation Project along the border with neighboring countries. This project aimed to promote economic linkages and development in border areas. To facilitate this, permanent checkpoints were established in various provinces, including those with adjacent land borders to neighboring countries. Unlike the border area connecting to Burma, Phayao province does not have a minority or separatist insurgency problem, making it a part of the National Strategic Plan. As such, the government is encouraging Phayao as an alternative area for opening permanent checkpoints. This paper examines opportunities and challenges of the Thai-Lao border from the standpoint of Thailand’s Phayao province.
Aksaraphak Chaipala, University of Phayao, Thailand
See this presentation on the full schedule – Saturday Schedule