Five Acmecs nations to support new trade lane linking Thailand, Burma, Malaysia
By SASITHORN ONGDEE
Published on November 18, 2010
Five countries at the Fourth Acmecs Summit in Phnom Penh yesterday agreed to support the development of the South-South Economic Corridor that will link the proposed deep-sea port in the south of Burma to the south of Thailand and onwards to Malaysia as a new trade lane in the region.
“It was announced at the meeting as a dialogue that five members have supported the deep sea port in the south of Burma,” Tanit Sorat, vice chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, and head of its Logistics Industry Club, told The Nation yesterday.
He is one of the Thai delegates at the Acmecs Summit. Acmecs or the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy is a cooperation framework covering Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam.
TAVOY DEEP-SEA PORT
Tanit said there was no mention of the name of the deep-sea port but it was acknowledged as the Tavoy deep-sea port project.
The South-South Economic Corridor would also complement the Bt200-billion railroad project with proposed financing by China from Nong Khai in the northeast of Thailand, through Bangkok and the south of Thailand to Padang Besar in Malaysia. It would be an extension of the railroad to be built in Laos to connect the south of China.
This would be a new gateway following the East-West Economic Corridor, linking Burma to Vietnam via Thailand and Laos, and the North-South Economic Corridor, connecting Kunming in the south of China to the south of Thailand.
Italian-Thai Development, Thailand's largest construction company, on November 2 signed the framework agreement with the Burmese Port Authority to develop the Tavoy Deep Sea Port, industrial estate and road link to Thailand. The total project value is US$8.6 billion, or about Bt260 billion.
The project will be located in Tavoy, about 160 kilometres west of Kanchanaburi or 300 kilometres west of Bangkok. The deep-sea port will be 10 times larger than Laem Chabang Port in Chon Buri, which can handle up to 7.5 million 20-feet containers a year.
The contractor aims for the project to become a logistics and trading hub for the region that links Southeast Asia and the South China Sea via the Andaman Sea, to the India Ocean.
A financial industry source said Bangkok Bank is now interested in providing loans to the Tavoy project. Some firms in Taiwan, Japan and China are also keen on participating in the development.
However, many industry watchers are sceptical about the project’s massive scale.
ITD’s stock yesterday rose by 4.6 per cent or 22 satang to close at Bt5 on turnover of Bt1.32 billion.
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