Thailand and China launch direct cargo rail link connecting Nong Khai and Chongqing via Laos, enhancing trade routes and economic cooperation.
Thailand-China Direct Cargo Rail Link Launched
Thailand and China have successfully launched their first direct cargo rail link this week, connecting Nong Khai in Thailand with Chongqing in China via Laos. The inaugural service, which carried Thai agricultural products like dried longan, marks a significant step in enhancing rail connectivity under the New Land-Sea Corridor project. This project is designed to improve trade routes between Southeast Asia, China, and Europe.
Chongqing as the Central Hub
Chongqing, a major city in southwestern China, is being positioned as the central hub of this project. The ceremony in Nong Khai on Dec 29 was attended by Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Captain Thamanat Prompow, along with representatives from various Thai and Chinese logistics and railway companies. A train also left Chongqing carrying industrial sodium sulfate to Thailand.
Belt and Road Initiative Implications
The development of this direct cargo rail link is part of the expansive Belt and Road Initiative, aiming to connect Asia with Africa and Europe through a network of land and maritime trade routes. This initiative is expected to facilitate increased trade and economic cooperation between the regions, creating new opportunities for growth and partnership.
The opening of the China-Thailand railway is a significant milestone in the transportation infrastructure development between the two countries. This railway line, also known as the China-Laos-Thailand Railway, connects Kunming in China to Vientiane in Laos and Nong Khai in Thailand. It is a vital part of the broader Belt and Road Initiative, a global infrastructure development strategy proposed by China.
The China-Thailand railway spans over 1,000 kilometers and offers a faster and more efficient mode of transportation for passengers and freight. It reduces travel time between Kunming and Bangkok from approximately 30 hours to just over 10 hours. This improved connectivity is expected to boost trade, tourism, and cultural exchanges between China, Laos, and Thailand.
The construction of the China-Thailand railway involved significant engineering feats, including the building of tunnels, bridges, and viaducts through mountainous terrain. It also required close cooperation and coordination between the governments and relevant stakeholders of the three countries involved.
The opening of the China-Thailand railway marks a new chapter in regional connectivity and economic cooperation in Southeast Asia. It is a testament to the commitment of China, Laos, and Thailand to enhancing infrastructure development and fostering closer ties among their nations.
Source : National News Bureau of Thailand