Ranong Port to boost trade with India
The Port of Authority of Thailand (PAT) is pressing ahead with the development of Ranong Port as a logistics gateway between Thailand and India as both countries have agreed to promote a new maritime route in the Andaman Sea.
PAT director-general Kamolsak Promprayoon said the development of Ranong Port will facilitate a new maritime route between Krishnapatnam Port in India and Ranong Port on the Andaman coast.
Lt Jg Kamolsak said the scheme to develop the port will also help materialise several aspects of cooperation under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Thursdaybetween the two ports.
Under the MoU, travel time between India and Thailand will be reduced from 10 to 15 days to seven.
The MoU is part of the government's policy to boost trade with India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka under the framework of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec), he said.
According to Lt Jg Kamolsak, PAT's 2018 earnings from exports to Bimstec were worth over 400 billion baht.
Out of this figure, 200 billion baht alone came from exports to India.
Lt Jg Kamolsak said the first phase of the port's development will see Ranong's Port handling capacity increase from 78,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs)/year to 300,000 TEUs/year by next year and to 500,000 TEUs/year by 2022, the current capacity of Krishnapatnam Port.
Ranong Port's imports and exports are also expected to grow between 9%-10% this year and the port's earnings for the 2019 fiscal year are estimated to be around 30 million baht, he said.
Vinita Venkatesh, director of Krishnapatnam Port, said the maritime route linking Ranong Port and the Krishnapatnam Port will significantly reduce transport and logistic costs for business operators.
Currently, cargo ships from Krishnapatnam Port travel to Laem Chabang Port in Chon Buri and Bangkok Port in Bangkok via Malaysia.