Tuesday, May 28

Thailand is considering a US$27 billion land bridge project to cross the Malacca Strait

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin stated on Tuesday that Thailand is considering a sizable land bridge project in the country’s south that would help increase growth and international trade and be projected to cost one trillion baht (US$27.44 billion or RM130.15 billion).

According to a government research, the project would start with bidding in 2025 and end with 280,000 jobs in the southern provinces of Ranong and Chumpon. The state planning office also predicted that the project would boost economic growth to 5.5% yearly. The GDP of Thailand is expected to expand by 2.8% this year and 4.4% the next year.

In Beijing for the Belt and Road Forum, he told reporters, “It will be an important connector for logistics for transporting goods between India, the Middle East, and Africa.”

The complex proposal, which would include constructing two deep-sea ports and 90km of rail and road to connect transport between the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand, is being evaluated by Thailand’s new administration, which took office in August. The Strait of Malacca, a tiny water channel connecting Malaysia and Indonesia, would be avoided.

“Having a land bridge makes [investors] more interested,” he claimed, noting that the government is attempting to encourage investments and boost economic growth.

In November, the government intends to meet with possible project investors.

“The land bridge will reduce transport time and cost, avoiding congestion from the Strait of Malacca…incentivising transport operators to use this route,” the announcement from the government stated.

The project’s first phase, which is scheduled to be finished in 2030, will have a capacity for 10 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), reaching its maximum capacity of 40 million TEUs in 2039.

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