From time to time we hear about Russian technicians and engineers doing their thing in far-flung parts of Burma. And, of course, their are brigades of Chinese labourers all over the place. But Thais?

According to the Kachin News Group, a group of 40 Thais are currently building million-dollar factories in the Hukawng Valley (in the northwest portion of the Kachin State). Going by the picture I can see how special skills and experience are needed to put such gigantic (and costly) structures together.

What intrigues me most about this is that so much construction work in Thailand has been been completed, over the past decade or two, by workers from Burma. By the sounds of it none of them are considered up to the task of building these factories. Nonetheless, exactly why the Yuzana Company decided to bring in a Thai team intrigues me greatly.

What are their special skills? Do they have work permits? Are they completing a job that local workers are incapable of doing? How much are they paid? Where in Thailand are they from? What is their connection to Yuzana Company? Are Thai firms now showing the ability to compete with the Chinese for lucrative Kachin State construction work? How do the Burmese feel about having Thais living (for many months, we must assume) in such a sensitive part of the country? And a hundred other questions.

New Mandala readers readers with suggestions or ideas can feel free to weigh in here.