Entrepreneurs from the five southern border provinces have met their counterparts from Malaysia for talks on trade and tourism cooperation at a workshop on Thai-Malaysian trade and tourism routes in Satun.
The Consul-General of the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Penang recently led a group of business people from Malaysia to visit Satun province. Also joining the group was the President of the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle Joint Business Council, Dato’Faudzi Naim Hj Noh.
Organized by the Satun Provincial Commerce Office, the workshop also aimed to encourage more Malaysian traders and tourists to pass through Wang Prachan and Tammalang border trade checkpoints, which have been improved to facilitate the travel of visitors and ease congestion.
There are nine border trade checkpoints in the cluster of southern border provinces that share borders with Malaysia. They include Sadao, Pedang Besar, and Ban Prakop in Songkhla; Buketa, Tak Bai, and Su-ngai Kolok in Narathiwat, Wang Prachan and Tammalang in Satun; and Betong in Yala.
Traders from the five southern border provinces also attended the workshop. The Malaysian business people showed their interest in community products, under the "One Tambon, One Product” program. They also visited major tourist attractions in Satun. In September this year, about 100 Malaysians from the Kedah State will visit marine tourist attractions in this province.
Tarutao Marine National Park is regarded as the most popular eco-tourist site in Satun. It is located in Mueang district and is about 40 kilometers from the town of Satun and only five kilometers from the Malaysian isle of Langkawi. In 1982, Tarutao was recognized as one of the ASEAN Heritage Parks and Reserves.
This national park is home to diverse plant varieties and is a wildlife sanctuary for numerous animals, as well as bird species. Endowed with streams, waterfalls, and caves, the park’s mostly mountainous terrain is largely covered with virgin forest, which is accessible via a walk along an educational nature trail.
Satun has a population of over 300,000. More than 70 percent of the local residents are Muslim and the rest are mainly Buddhist. The province has set its vision as "a leading eco-tourism city in ASEAN.
The provincial cluster of southern border areas is playing an important role in promoting Thai-Malaysian border trade and tourism. Its location is suitable for enhancing ASEAN connectivity, as well.