China, Thailand ink intergovernmental document on railway project

BANGKOK, Dec. 3 (Greenpost) — China and Thailand signed an intergovernmental framework document on railway cooperation here on Thursday, which serves as an important basis for future efforts to push forward the railway project.

The foundational document for the bilateral cooperation in constructing an 867-kilometer medium-speed railway line in Thailand was signed by Thai Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith and deputy head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission Wang Xiaotao.
The signing ceremony was held at the ninth meeting of the Joint Committee on Railway Cooperation between the Thailand and China.
According to the document, the railway project, a dual-track line which uses 1.435-meter standard gauge with trains operating at top speeds of 160-180 kph, will be implemented in the form of EPC (engineering, procurement, construction), according to Chinese negotiators.
A joint venture will be set up in charge of part of the investment and railway operation, the statement said, adding the Chinese side will support Thailand in terms of technology licensing and transfer, human resources training, and financing.
A foundation stone laying ceremony for the railway project will be held later this month. Both sides are striving to speed up the process so that construction could start in May next year.
The railway project will significantly enhance connectivity between Thailand and China and boost economic growth in Thailand, especially in its northeastern part, according to the statement.
As an important part of the trans-Asian railway network, the project will potentially reinforce Thailand’s position as a transport hub in the region and inject vitality into the economic development in the southwestern part of China.
In addition to the railway document, a contract was signed by the China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation and the Foreign Trade Department of the Commerce Ministry of Thailand, under which the Chinese enterprise will purchase 1 million tons of newly-harvested rice from Thailand.
China’s Sinochem and the Rubber Authority of Thailand also inked a purchase agreement, under which Thailand will sell 200,000 tons of natural rubber to the Chinese company.
The purchases will help propel the growth of the two countries’ economic and trade ties while further promoting Thailand’s rubber products in China and other major markets, the statement said.  Enditem

Source Xinhua

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