Thai Transport Minister Prajin Juntong told the media that the Indian government is interested in investing in the construction of road, rail, marine and air transport systems in Thailand to promote travel, tourism and goods transport between the two countries
He was speaking after a meeting with the Indian ambassador to Thailand, Mr Harsh Vardhan Shringla in Bangkok on January 29.
India’s “Look East Policy” – which critics claim has been sluggish – has been transformed under India Prime Minister Narendra Modi into its “Act East Policy,” unveiled at the ASEAN summit in Nay Pyi Taw in November 2014. Prime Minister Modi has stressed his government’s interest in expanding links with his Southeast Asian neighbours since he came to power last year.
Air Chief Marshall Prajin said India has developed a network of domestic road and rail links which also connect to its neighbouring countries.
If Thailand's projects aiming to establish road and rail links with its neighbours are completed, they will also boost goods transport and travel between Thailand and India, he said.
India will use Myanmar as a bridge to reach Thailand and its ASEAN neighbours and has been discussing infrastructure and trade projects with Nay Pyi Taw, said the Post.
India has asked for details on the Thai projects that are getting under way so it can prepare to create links to Thailand, Air Chief Marshall Prajin said, noting that he told the Indian ambassador that Thailand has several infrastructure projects in the pipeline to connect with its neighbours.
One is a road project that had been proposed in the past to link Mae Sot in Tak to Kawkareik, Kayin State and Yangon in Myanmar as well as India, he said.
India is also keen to support a project to build the Pak Bara deep-sea port in Satun as well as the Songkhla 2 sea port in Songkhla, both in southern Thailand. The land-bridge projects will help cut the time needed to transport goods between the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea.
Currently, cargo ships pass through the Strait of Malacca, which takes a long time, the minister said.
Story courtesy of the Bangkok Post