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Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group (CP) and 12 other companies were selected to build a $6.8 billion high-speed train project that will link three major airports in the country, the government said on Monday.
The committee, chaired by Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, chose a joint investor for the public-private partnership that required the lowest amount of investment from the government, the Eastern Economic Corridor Policy (EEC) office said in a statement.
The government’s decision came in following months of negotiations after CP and 12 other companies jointly submitted a bid for the $6.8 billion project last year.
The rail link will connect Thailand’s main international airport Suvarnabhumi to low-cost carrier airport Don Muang and U-Tapao airport in eastern Thailand.
The proposal will be sent for cabinet approval on May 28, EEC Secretary-General Kanit Sangsubhan told reporters.
The high-speed train project is slated to be completed in five years, and will be operational for 45 years under the partnership, according to the EEC portal.
The EEC project, worth $45 billion, is the centerpiece of the government’s policy to boost investments in hi-tech industrials, as it transitions from those reliant on cheap labor.
The goal is to make the east a center for hi-tech industries such as robotics and electric vehicles as well as a regional hub for aircraft maintenance.
The EEC managed to draw 297 billion baht ($9.3 billion) in promised investment in 2017.
This article first appeared on www.reuters.com
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