Sunday Tribune

Thailand aims to forge a new path

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HUA HIN, THAILAND: Thailand wants to tap China’s $15 billion (R112bn) Southeast Asian infrastruc­ture loan programme to build an ambitious network of highways linking parts of Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and China, a Thai official said.

The proposed road will link the Vietnamese city of Danang to Myanmar’s sea port of Moulmein, passing through Thailand. It would also link Thailand’s western province of Kanchanabu­ri to Myanmar’s port of Tavoy and provide a route from Yunnan province via Bangkok to Singapore.

“The Chinese minister reaffirmed that the Associatio­n for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-China Loan Programme can be used for the constructi­on of the logistical highway network of Asean member countries,” the statement said.

The idea was discussed when Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming met his Thai counterpar­t Porntiva Nakasai at the 16-nation East Asia summit here recently.

China is separately establishi­ng a $10bn China-Asean Investment Co-operation Fund, to support private infrastruc­ture, energy projects in Asean and technical cooperatio­n between China and Asean, a statement said. – Reuters

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