Thai-China rail project MoU approved

Thai-China rail project MoU approved

The cabinet approved a draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Thailand and China for mutual cooperation on the development of the Nong Khai-Map Ta Phut dual-track electric rail route, government spokesman Yongyuth Maiyalarp said Tuesday.

The draft MOU, proposed by the Transport Ministry, will allow China to play a lead role in developing the 1.435-metre standard-gauge railway route, stretching 734km from Nong Khai, Nakhon Ratchasima, and Kaeng Khoi district of Saraburi to Map Ta Phut, Rayong, on the Eastern Seaboard.  Another 133km section links Bangkok with Kaeng Khoi.

Mr Yongyuth said the cabinet also approved a proposal to set up a Thailand-China joint committee to push ahead with and thrash out the rail project details. The panel will be jointly chaired by Transport Minister Prajin Juntong and the president of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). 

The approval came after China agreed to lend Thailand cash to construct three dual-track railways as part of a government-to-government deal to boost regional transport links.

The agreement was made at a full-delegation meeting led by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha early this month. 

ACM Prajin earlier said the rail project is estimated to cost about 400 billion baht.

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