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Project for rail line to Thailand on track

By Zhou Mo | China Daily | Updated: 2015-09-19 08:03

Work on the much-awaited China-Thailand railway project is likely to start by the end of this year, officials from both sides said on Friday.

The project will not only link China and Thailand, but also play a key role in promoting the Belt and Road Initiative, said Tanasak Patimapragorn, deputy prime minister and special envoy of the prime minister of Thailand.

"Thailand and China are already working together in railway construction. We have held seven rounds of negotiations and hope to start work by December," he said during the roundtable dialogue between the two sides.

The dialogue is part of a series of activities at the 12th China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, which is being held concurrently with the 12th China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Thailand is also stepping up efforts to develop a number of special economic zones, said a high-level official from the economic and social development department of Thailand, on condition of anonymity.

"The first group of SEZs will cover border areas between Thailand and its neighboring countries. An important economic center is expected to be created in those cross-border checkpoints. The Thailand government will invest a certain amount of money to build railways and other infrastructure for these SEZs," he said.

Officials from Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and trade departments, as well as executives from six Chinese companies attended the event.

Though the China-Thailand railway project was mooted nearly a decade ago, the project had been stagnated due to political problems in Thailand.

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