The total trade between Malaysia and Thailand reached RM86 billion last year to rise 8% from previous year. Malaysian companies have been urged to take advantage of the burgeoning Malaysia-Thailand border trade, said trade promotion agency, Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade). Its Trade Commissioner to Thailand, Niqman Rafaee M. Sahar, said Malaysian companies could capitalise on the active border trade activities to penetrate the larger Thai market. "About 60% of our (Malaysia-Thailand) trade came from the border trade activities, so Malaysian companies could take advantage of it by setting up joint-ventures (JVs) or cooperation with Thai partners," he told Malaysia's (Bernama) News Agency. He said Thailand, which has 69 million people and 77 provinces, represented a big market for Malaysian companies and with the Thai partners, it would make their entry into the Thai market smoother.