Thailand’s 1 trillion baht land bridge project seeks foreign investors

Photo: Bangkok Post

Thailand’s Transport Ministry is actively seeking investors for a megaproject, dubbed the land bridge, which aims to connect Chumphon on the Gulf of Thailand’s eastern coastline to Ranong along the Andaman Sea. The mission to attract funds will involve roadshows in China, Europe, and the United States.

Suriya Jungrungreangkit, the Transport Minister, shared these updates on the project’s progress in response to concerns raised by Wichai Sudsawat, a Member of Parliament for the United Thai Nation (UTN) Party from Chumphon. During a House meeting, Wichai voiced apprehensions about the project’s potential negative effects on the livelihoods of his constituents.

These concerns were raised following Suriya’s previous comments regarding the project’s significant investment costs and potential environmental issues. The land bridge project, launched by the Prayut-Chan-o-cha government two years ago, is a key initiative aimed at propelling Thailand’s economy. It complements the flagship Eastern Economic Corridor project and aligns with the country’s 20-year national strategy.

The government’s vision for the land bridge project is to bolster connectivity in the southern Andaman region through the development of a mass transit system. Suriya said that the project, currently in its study phase, is being examined by the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP).

All agencies have been instructed to proceed with caution to mitigate any potential negative impacts on people’s lives. Suriya also noted that the land bridge project, while economic in nature, is expected to improve living conditions.

OTP director Panya Chupanich revealed that a feasibility study and an environmental impact assessment are currently in progress. The land bridge project, requiring an investment of approximately 1 trillion baht, will be entirely privately funded. Panya noted that the government’s role will be limited to land expropriation.

Panya also stated that three foreign investors have already expressed interest in the land bridge project. To attract additional investors, the ministry plans to launch a roadshow in foreign territories, including China, Europe, and the US reported Bangkok Post.

To ensure comprehensive input on the project, a public hearing will be held to gather opinions from all sectors, including private and civil. The information collected will be used to support the feasibility study, Panya said.

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Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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