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Thailand is seeking private investors’ help for a $40 billion upgrade of its rail network aimed at reducing logistics costs and boosting trade, Minster of Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith told Reuters on Monday.
Lowering transport costs is crucial because exports account for two thirds of Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.
Thailand’s transport system will “place greater emphasis on rail,” Arkhom said in an interview, adding the country had “overly depended on roads and trucks.”
“We are looking for more active participation of private investment (in rail),” he said, while ruling out the privatization of operator State Railway of Thailand.
The projects include upgrading the network to dual-track rails. The government has already approved 123 billion baht ($3.7 billion) of such upgrades, with nine more worth 407 billion baht to be approved this year, Arkhom said.
This article first appeared on www.reuters.com
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