An Analysis of the
Impacts of Economics Crisis on Trade and Transport in Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth
Triangle : Thailand-Malaysia Case
by Ms. Sumalee Sukdanont 1999 *(The Full Text
view in Thai Language only)*
This study was conducted to assess the impacts of
economics crisis which occurred during 1996-1997 on trade and trasnport in
Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT).It emphasised only on Malaysia and
Thailand. The study was based upon basic economics data; the amount of cross border trade
and the volume of cargoes transported between the two countries. Field-trips were made to
the 5 provinces in the southern part of Thailand , namely Songkha, Satul, Pattani,
Naratiwas, Yala and Penang. Interviews were conducted on individuals and organisations in
the aforementioned area.
The economics crisis had affected the three
countries in the IMT-GT. Thailand and Indonesia were affected so drastically that both had
to require technical and financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund.
However, it did not affect the formal cross border trade or the trade that passed through
customs formality of the two countries. The trade had increased steadily sicnce 1995. In
1997 the largest increase of trade amount were 42% of the previous year. For the informal
cross border trade, it was slightly affected at the beginning. This was due to the
unstalilised curency of the two countries. When they were stabilised, it benefited the
Thai trade because Thai Baht was depreciated when compared to Malaysian Ringgit.
The crisis did not affect the trade between
Thailand and Indonesia as well. From 1995-1998 the trade vale of the two countries
increased continuously. The trade value of 1996 was higher than of 1995 30.4% and the
trade value of 1997 was higher than of 1996 36.4%. The trade value of 1998 seemed to slow
down, however, it was 19% higher than of the previous year.
Some development projects such as bridge
construction at Wang District in Naratiwas had to be suspended because of the economics
problem. The crisis had an impact on the IMT-GT project as a whole since Indonesia which
had been affected severely had to abruptly cease the project.
Morever it was found that the obstacles tothe
cross border trade and transport development beteween Thailand and Malaysia were mostly
caused by the differences in laws, regulations and agreements which disadvantaged the Thai
private sectors. The competition beteween the two main gates for international trade of
the area, Songkhla Port and Penang Prot , the Thai port seemed to be less competitive.
Even though the IMT-GT project had been
implemented since 1993, a few improvement had been seen. This was because the Thai
government did not seriously and sincerely support the project. Several development
projects did not serve the needs of the locals, hence they were not truly beneficial.