Myanmar’s Crisis & the World

Myanmar Junta Receives New Thai Ambassador

By The Irrawaddy 8 December 2022

Thailand’s new ambassador to Myanmar Mongkol Visitstump presented his credentials to junta boss Min Aung Hlaing on Thursday before holding separate talks with deputy junta leader Soe Win and foreign minister Wunna Maung Lwin.

The new Thai ambassador and Min Aung Hlaing discussed cooperation to boost border trade and investment in Myanmar, and development of its tourism industry, according to junta media.

Mongkol also exchanged views with Soe Win on tourism, trade, and investment between the two countries, including the Thailand-backed Dawei deep-sea port project. The long-delayed mega-infrastructure project is located in Dawei, the capital of Tanintharyi Region in southern Myanmar.

Min Aung Hlaing visited the site in November and called for progress on the project.

Thailand’s petroleum company PTTEP continues to operate in Myanmar despite the withdrawal of international energy giants including France’s Total and the US’s Chevron, who cited worsening human rights violations and general lawlessness under junta rule.

Singapore, China and Thailand are the biggest foreign investors in Myanmar, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration. Border trade between Myanmar and Thailand is higher than Myanmar’s border trade with China over the first seven months of this fiscal year (2022-2023).

The 55-year-old new ambassador started his diplomatic career with the Thai Foreign Ministry in 1991 and has served in various positions in Vietnam, Japan, and China. He was consul general in China’s Kunming before being appointed ambassador to Myanmar.

Subjects covered in Mongkol’s meeting with junta foreign minister Wunna Maung Lwin included closer cooperation between the two countries in various sectors of mutual interest.