Land bridge project to attract investors
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Land bridge project to attract investors

The Customs Department port in Ranong, on the Andaman Sea, is home to the country’s highest lighthouse.
The Customs Department port in Ranong, on the Andaman Sea, is home to the country’s highest lighthouse.

The Transport Ministry plans to host roadshows in China, Europe and the United States to attract investors in a land bridge megaproject connecting Chumphon on the eastern coast along the Gulf of Thailand to Ranong along the Andaman Sea.

Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit on Thursday provided an update on the progress of the project after Wichai Sudsawat, United Thai Nation (UTN) Party MP for Chumphon, shared his concerns regarding the negative impact of the project on the livelihoods of people in his constituency during a House meeting on Wednesday.

The UTN MP did so after Mr Suriya said last week that the project had high investment costs and other concerns, including those involving the environment.

The land bridge project was initiated by the Prayut-Chan-o-cha government in 2021 to drive Thailand's economy, apart from the flagship Eastern Economic Corridor project. The land bridge project is touted to be in line with the 20-year national strategy.

Through the land bridge project, the government aims to enhance connectivity in the southern Andaman region by developing a mass transit system.

Mr Suriya said the project is currently in its study process, being carried out by the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP).

The ministry has instructed all agencies to carefully proceed with the project and resolve problems that may impact people's lives, he said, noting the economic project is expected to also improve living conditions.

OTP director Panya Chupanich said a feasibility study and an environmental impact assessment are underway.

The project requires an investment of about 1 trillion baht, and it will entirely come from the private sector, he said, noting the government will only deal with land expropriation.

Previously, there were three foreign investors interested in the project, he said.

To draw more attention from foreign investors, the ministry plans to launch a roadshow in foreign territories, including China, the US and Europe, he said.

A public hearing will be held to gather opinions from all sectors, including private and civil, to support the feasibility study, he said.

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