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China to aid Thailand high speed rail projects
October 13, 2013, 6:25 am

Interconnectivity between the two countries would be boosted by considerable reduction of travel time, the Chinese Premier said [Xinhua Images]

Interconnectivity between the two countries would be boosted by considerable reduction of travel time, the Chinese Premier said [Xinhua Images]

China is keen on introducing it’s high-speed railway technology to Thailand, said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his state visit.

Li told his Indonesian counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra that “closer two-way cooperation on railways will improve Thailand’s infrastructure, boost its economic and social development, and advance the bilateral win-win cooperation of mutual benefit”.

Thailand has announced a $70 billion infrastructure development plan earlier this year.

Li said Chinese expertise in building efficient super-speed trains at competitive costs would aid the country. This would also give China access to Thailand’s large and growing consumer market.

Li was visiting a Chinese high-speed railway exhibition in Thailand featured Chinese blueprint plans for the 680-km Bangkok-Chiang Mai and 450-km Bangkok-Nong Khai rail lines.

Chiang Mai is poised to be the economic hub of an upcoming ASEAN Economic Community and could serve critical Chinese interests in the region by further economic integration of ASEAN nations with Beijing.

Five years since the opening of China’s high-speed rail system, the country has announced plans to extend the network from the current 9000 kilometers, which is presently the world’s longest, to16,000 kilometers by 2020.

Meanwhile, Yingluck welcomed Chinese participation in the construction of high-speed railways in Thailand. Interconnectivity between the two countries would be boosted by considerable reduction of travel time, the Chinese Premier said.

Li became the first foreign leader to address the Thai Parliament on Friday.

The two countries have set a trade target of $100 billion by 2015.

Li also announced China will increase agricultural imports from Thailand which was till last month the world’s top rice exporter.

“In the next five years, China will import 1 million tons of rice from Thailand and will also import more rubber,” Li said.

Earlier, the Chinese premier attended a series of meetings with East Asian leaders in Brunei and will now travel to Vietnam.

 

 With inputs from Agencies

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