Thailand and Malaysia have discussed a plan to develop a rail network linking Bangkok and Hat Yai to Padang Besar in Malaysia.
Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt said that he and his Malaysian counterpart have discussed a plan for construction of a 1m double-gauge track linking Thailand and Malaysia at the Padang Besar-Hat Yai checkpoint.
He was speaking yesterday after his return from the Asean transport ministers meeting in Bali.
He held talks in Bali with his Asean counterparts on transport and rail network development to improve connectivity between Asean countries, he said.
Thailand has set aside 2.2 trillion baht for public infrastructure investment.
The double-gauge track linking Thailand with Malaysia would accelerate transportation of goods to Laem Chabang port, he said.
Under the proposal, both Thailand and Malaysia would invest in track development in their respective territory.
If Malaysia wanted to transport its goods to Thailand, it may have to rent track from Thai authorities, he said. The countries would discuss other details of the investment plan.
Singapore plans to invest in a high-speed train project to link with Malaysia, Mr Chadchat added.
He said he has proposed to his Singaporean counterpart that the high-speed train network be linked with the south of Thailand.
Cambodia wants Thailand to develop a highway and rail network hub at Poi Pet to link with Cambodia, Vietnam and China's Kunming, Mr Chadchat said.
Vietnam said it wanted Thailand to improve logistics to boost the transport of goods to Laem Chabang port. Currently, there are two road links: the Mukdahan-Savannaket-Danang route, and the Mukdahan-Nakhon Phanom and Hanoi route.
Mr Chadchat said Thailand has set a target to draw more Indonesian tourists.
Myanmar remains focused on its Dawei deep-sea port development project, he said, adding that Thailand will improve Mae Sot airport so it can handle flights to and from Yangon.
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- Writer: Amornrat Mahitthirook