Thailand will propose the construction of a rail link between Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City at a meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) in Burma in December.
The route would run from Bangkok to Chiang Rai, Boten in Laos, and Kunming in China Mohan, and Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
The route is one of the four priorities of the GMS railway development plan. It would be a complete rail network in southern China to Thailand to join the 615 km of standard gauge line from Bangkok to Nong Khai and the route of 928 kilometers from Bangkok to Padang Besar.
The two routes are among 12 proposed China-ASEAN rail developments. The plan includes six rail links from Kunming to Singapore via Laos, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh.
The development of rail and road networks link with neighboring countries is an important task for the country over the next five years.
Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, the general secretary of the National Economic and Social Development, said the development of railways and roads in the region to improve Thailand’s logistics function, especially given China’s desire to use the provinces of Guangxi, Guangdong and Hainan, as gateways to ASEAN.
Mr Arkhom said roads linking China and ASEAN were under construction. They include two north-south corridor linking the south China economic northern Thailand and Burma.
Thailand needs to develop a national single window for customs clearance and other procedures, Mr. Arkhom said, and also must develop new border towns to promote trade and tourism.
In 2010, border trade through 13 checkpoints was 749.52 billion baht.
ASEAN-China trade volume steadily increased from 2003-10, producing a trade surplus of China. The annual growth of ASEAN exports to China averaged 24% annually, while ASEAN imports from China rose at a slower rate of 18%.
Growth in Thai exports to China in the period averaged 22% annually, while imports from Thailand grew at a rate of 21%.