22 September 2022, Dawei, Tanintharyi Region
The Myanmar military has closed a border trade camp since the first week of September due to fierce fighting along the Dawei-Htee Khee Road in Dawei, the capital of Tanintharyi Region, according to merchants.
The military has also imposed a travel ban on locals after clashes broke out between junta troops and anti-regime forces led by Brigade 4 of the Karen National Defence Organisation, a military branch of the Karen National Union (KNU), near the Dawei-Htee Khee border trade camp from September 6 to 18, said a merchant in Dawei.
“The military blocked off the Dawei-Htee Khee road section due to frequent fighting, causing difficulties for truck drivers,” he added.
Some merchants are diverting their trade through Myawaddy in Kayin State and Tanintharyi Region’s Myeik, but most trade activities have come to a standstill due to the high costs of transportation and freight, as well as the depreciation of the Myanmar kyat, according to traders in Myeik.
“We have to transport commodities to Thailand through Myawaddy and Myeik due to the closure of the Htee Khee border trade camp. The revenue doesn’t cover the costs, so some merchants stopped trading,” he said.
The Dawei-Htee Khee border trade camp was temporarily closed on April 24, and after reopening in June, it was closed again this month.
DMG was unable to obtain comment from officials at the Ministry of Commerce regarding the closure of the Dawei-Htee Khee border trade camp.
“The Dawei-Htee Khee border trade camp was closed again due to fighting along the Dawei-Htee Khee road. I don’t know exactly when it will reopen,” a local official said.
Marine products in Tanintharyi Region are exported to Thailand via the Dawei-Htee Khee border trade camp. Fuel, crops and consumer goods are also imported from Thailand through the Dawei-Htee Khee border trade camp.