$44 billion plan to link up Thailand and China’s Belt and Road Initiative
China invited Egypt, Guinea, Tajikistan, Mexico and Thailand as guest countries for the BRICS Plus summit.
Thailand, located in the land-and-sea intersection along the route of the "Belt & Road Initiative", will undoubtedly become an important cooperation partner of China in the construction process. One key project linked to the China-proposed initiative is a multi-billion-dollar high-speed railway line with Thailand.
Thailand has recently sought closer relations with China, such as in defense procurement and infrastructure development. A 44-billion-US-dollars plan to add infrastructure and upgrade industry on its eastern seaboard can link up with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, as part of a push to encourage economic growth.
Analysts see the rail line as an extension of China's One Belt, One Road initiative – an initiative that aims to reshape intercontinental trade through a network of maritime and land links. They say the railway will be a game changer and offer the region significant economic potential and a boost in Chinese foreign direct investment.
After years of delays in negotiations and bumps in the road, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha used has managed to hasten the delayed 5.2-billion-US-dollars high-speed rail joint venture with China. It is a vision that will soon become a tangible reality.