Japan eyes high-speed rail in EWEC economic area

Japan eyes high-speed rail in EWEC economic area

Japan is considering working with the government to develop a high-speed rail service for the upper East West Economic Corridor (EWEC).

The intention was conveyed yesterday when Shiro Sadoshima, Japan's ambassador to Thailand, visited Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak. Mr Shiro said Thailand should develop the EWEC and Japan is interested in investing in it, according to Mr Somkid. The route will run from central Vietnam, to Laos, Thailand and Myanmar, eventually ending in India. The goal is to boost economic growth for the countries involved.

Japan became interested after the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) reviewed the project and found the high-speed rail link to be a feasible investment. "It will enhance investment along the route and strengthen economic growth in neighbouring countries, as well as the Thai special economic zones at the border of Mae Sot and Mukdahan," Mr Somkid told the media. He would brief the Transport Ministry on progress. Mr Somkid is expected to visit Japan for talks later this year.

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