Thailand’s railway projects have interested a new potential investor: France. The country is interested in Thailand’s dual-track railway, states MR Pridiyathorn Devakula, the deputy prime minister. Meeting with a French ambassador, Devakula learned of France’s interest in investing in the projects.
China, Japan and Germany have also showed interest in the projects.
Initial agreements with Japan and China are currently in place. Just this week, Germany stated that the country was interested in a Bangkok-Hua Hin route.
France’s late interest poses a problem for the country. The deputy prime minister told the ambassador that France had never voiced interest in the projects before.
France has been asked to bid for an operation license with urban-rails in the country. An auction for the licenses will take place this year.
France’s electric train technology is of great interest to the country.
The deputy prime minister urges only consider bids from countries that the country has already entered into agreements with. It is urged that new project bids should not take place until the next government is put in place.
France has been urged to wait until the next government is in office to discuss the matter further.
A MoU was signed in December between China and Thailand with construction expected in 2016 for two railways. Japan has also shown interest and has asked for permission to study the routes further. There are no construction plans in place with Japan at this time.
Thailand’s Prime Minister has stated that if a project were deemed too costly to be developed, the country would not proceed.
Under the MoU with China, construction technology will be granted to Thailand to build the rails. China will also provide a loan with interest rates of 2 – 4 percent to finance the project.
Possible investments and potential routes are still being investigated at this time.