Ayutthaya proposed as new logistics hub amidst Thai-Chinese rail development
The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) proposed to the government to establish Ayutthaya as a new logistics hub. This development is in anticipation of the increasing investment stimulated by the construction of the Thai-Chinese high-speed rail system.
The suggested logistics hub would integrate with Ayutthaya’s existing rail, road, and river transport network. In addition, there is a potential for developing a dry port in this province that hosts five industrial estates, as shared by the committee.
Phagorn Wangsirabat, Vice-Chairman of the provincial industry chapter under the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), a core JSCCIB member, emphasised the benefit of this opportunity.
“Ayutthaya can use this opportunity to improve its logistics infrastructure to generate more value for its economy.”
The Thai-Sino high-speed rail system, worth 179 billion baht, aims to connect Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima in the northeast, covering a distance of 253 kilometres. This route includes Ayutthaya, a location recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The current construction plan involves an elevated rail track at the existing Ayutthaya rail station, located 1.5 kilometres from the province’s historical sites. However, concerns regarding the potential impact on Ayutthaya’s World Heritage status have arisen due to this proximity.
To address these concerns, the business sector has suggested relocating the high-speed train station to the Ban Ma sub-district, said Phagorn Wangsirabat.
“Ban Ma is far from the Ayutthaya station, around 3 to 5km, and it has a large area for the development of the logistics hub and a goods distribution centre. It is a good location.”
The province’s five industrial estates (Hi-Tech, Rojana, Bang Pa-in, Nakhon Luang, and Wang Noi) cater to businesses involving automobiles and auto parts, electronics, and food processing, reported Bangkok Post. These industries contribute 70% to Ayutthaya’s GDP of 500 billion baht and employ 330,000 workers, as reported by the FTI.
There is also growing interest from Chinese investors in the food processing industry in Ayutthaya. They are actively seeking Thai partners for joint ventures, as revealed by Somwang Toongsuwan, secretary-general of FTI’s provincial industry chapter in Ayutthaya.
“One Chinese investor already bought more than 100 rai of industrial land for business expansion.”