Thailand should give more importance to roads and railways to be a part of the great change to human history under the Belt and Road Initiative, Thai Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said Tuesday.[Special coverage]
"Under the Belt and Road Initiative, if we give more importance to road and rail, we will be a part of great change in humankind's history", Arkhom said at a press conference.
The minister noted that Thailand has to do that as the country is situated right in the center of ASEAN and shares thousands of kilometers of borderline with neighboring countries.
During the press conference, Arkhom, who just came back from Beijing after attending the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, summarized what he heard and said during the forum.
He thanked China for putting forward the visionary Belt and Road Initiative which promotes cooperation, infrastructure development among countries along Belt and Road, and advocates green development.
For the Thailand-China railway project, Arkhom reiterated that Thailand will support the construction of the railway linking Kunming and Bangkok, as "Thailand will be in charge of the construction of railway from Bangkok to Nong Khai on Thai-Lao border."
He pointed out that the railway project from Bangkok to Nong Khai is of great importance as it will connect Thailand with Laos and China, and also to Malaysia and Singapore in the future.
Meanwhile, a public-private partnership high-speed rail project from Bangkok to Rayong will also be linked with the railway project to connect Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), a planned manufacturing center and transport hub of Indochina Peninsular, with China.
"Once the railway extends to the EEC, it will help us in developing targeted industries," the minister said.