Thailand is planning on building a transport infrastructure meant to streamline supply and logistics operations to China.
Agriculture and food produce from Thailand have traditionally been transported to China through Vietnam and Laos, commonly utilizing its trucking routes.
Sea and air logistic methods have also been used in transporting goods from Thailand.
However, due to covid-19’s outbreak, logistics operations globally have been interrupted.
As a solution, Thailand has organized a two-way logistics agreement with Vietnam, utilizing the country’s train routes to deliver products to China.
According to an agricultural official, trains to deliver products have never been used in the past. Vice-minister for agriculture Narapat Kaeothong, said:
“Transporting by rail is now cheaper and faster than by trucks, so we have essentially reduced overall costs and delivery time.”
“This could become a new system for our shipments. We can build on this idea and export more products at less cost.”
While there are currently no train lines directly routing Thailand to China, reports have indicated plans to construct one.
The Thai government, in the past, has stated its will to create train lines in the nation’s capital to alleviate traffic congestion and pollution problems faced by Bangkok.
Bangkok has been selected as a prospective center for Thailand’s rail development.
The train project is set to connect Thailand to China and Singapore and connect the capital to other major Thai cities.
Thailand has allocated a USD33 billion (1.04 trillion Thai baht) budget stretched over three years, to be spent on national rail developments.
The move is seen as a way to heighten the global economic competitiveness of the country.
Voravuth Mala, acting governor of the State Railway of Thailand, said:
“The global economy is quite weak and the interest rates are quite low. This is the best time to invest in infrastructure.”
Mala also added:
“If people can travel quickly and conveniently, the economy will be good. That’s the idea we build upon.”
China is Thailand’s second-largest export market next to the US. Approximately 80 percent of the country’s agricultural products have been exported to China.