Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban on Wednesday reported to the Cabinet the success of his recent visit to China, saying that the neighbour to the north has agreed to invest in Thailand’s first high-speed railway and provide funding to the development on the Thai rail link system.
China has agreed to invest in Thailand’s first high-speed railway, which was part of the talks between the two countries during Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister’s visit to China on July 16-23. Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban Wednesday reported to Thai Cabinet that China will provide investment, technology and management support for the 240-kilometre railway line from Bangkok to province of Rayong, the country’s official MCOT news agency reported.
Suthep also disclosed that the two countries may also cooperate in railway projects at the Thai-Lao border of Thailand’s Nong Khai province to Laos and China. The line is expected to also link southern Thailand to Malaysia.
He praised the quality of China’s high-speed railway system, adding that Chinese technology for high-speed trains is highly advanced. China has said it would promote Thailand as a tourist destination among Chinese. It will as well consider buying more rice from Thailand, while adding the rail link development will provide convenience of people in the region to travel and enhance a better logistics and transport system.
The Chinese mainland’s length of high-speed railways in operation has now reached 6,900 kilometers, ranking first in the world, and the length of high-speed railways under construction has reached 10,000-plus kilometers, according to the “Seventh World High-speed Railway Conference” held by the Ministry of Railways on July 28.
The high-speed railway lines, including the Beijing-Tianjin, Wuhan-Guangzhou, Zhengzhou-Xi’an and Shanghai-Nanjing lines, are all in operation and running at speeds of 350 kilometers an hour, making them the fastest in the world.
According to the plan and current construction progress, the total length of high-speed railways in China will exceed 13,000 kilometers by 2012 and will exceed 16,000 kilometers by 2020.
Thailand performs well compared to other countries in the region on many aspects of government regulations and regulatory procedures that facilitate business. According to the latest annual World Bank’s Doing Business report, in 2008 Thailand ranks 13th among over 180 countries and 4th in East Asia in the ease of doing business. The ease of doing business is measured by quantitative indicators of regulatory requirements and procedures in ten areas in the life cycle of typical small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the largest city in a country.
They include, for example, the number days, steps, and cost needed to obtain business licenses, registering property, clear customs, pay taxes, and close a business. It only takes 2 steps and 2 days to register property in Thailand, on of the fastest in the world. Progress over the recent years has been particularly on the improvements in the customs process after the introduction of the internet-based customs clearance system, which has reduced the number of required documents and time taken to clear customs for exports.