20 May 2019
Thailand is pushing ahead with the construction of high-speed rail that links three major airports in the country.
The airports are Don Mueang in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi in Samut Prakan province, about 25km from Bangkok, and U-tapao in Rayong province.
The 225 billion baht (US$7.06 billion) project is one of the five ones launched by the Thai Government, aiming to promote economic development in the country’s Eastern Economic Corridor.
A consortium led by Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group has won the concession for the project.
Bangkok Post cited Suphachai Chearavanont, CEO of CP Group, as saying that CP commits to investing in the project despite it being considered a high-risk investment.
The company will keep pushing for the project to materialise for the benefit of the country, he told a seminar in Nakhon Ratchasima attended by more than 400 business leaders from around the world.
Suphachai said there is no guarantee of a high return but the company decided to invest in it to help stimulate economic development to help the country prosper.
The high-speed train project will contribute to urban development and a fairer distribution of wealth and income, he said, adding the country will benefit from foreign investors bringing knowledge to improve the skills of local workers.
Suphachai said the project will make Thailand a regional hub in ASEAN, which in turn would help boost growth in the CLMV grouping (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam).
Kanit Sangsubhan, Secretary-General of the EEC office, said earlier the EEC Policy Committee had approved the contract and design of the project, due to be presented to the cabinet on May 28.
The EEC is the government’s flagship investment scheme, spanning the eastern provinces of Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao. It is due for completion by 2021 to turn those provinces into technological, manufacturing and service hubs connected to ASEAN neighbours by land, sea and air.