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Thirty-one companies from Thailand and abroad have expressed interest in bidding for the right to build the country's first high-speed railway, which will link three major airports.
"This shows that the high-speed train project is much-awaited ... [and] has interested many Thai and foreign companies. I am surprised there are some Asian companies joining the bidding, particularly from South Korea and Malaysia," said Pairin Chuchotethavorn, Thailand's deputy minister of transport.
The State Railway of Thailand, the state-owned railway operator, is overseeing the bidding process. Between June 18 and July 9, a total of 31 companies bought the document outlining the terms of reference for the project.
There are 14 Thai companies considering a bid, along with seven Chinese companies, four Japanese, two French, two Malaysian, one Italian and one consortium from South Korea, according to a statement from SRT.
Among the Thai bidders are well-known conglomerates, such as food processor Charoen Pokphand Group and BTS Group Holdings, which operates Bangkok's Skytrain elevated railway.
Multinational corporations, including Japan's Hitachi and SNCF, the French state-owned railway operator, have also expressed interest. Chinese bidders include China Resources and China Railway.
This article first appeared on asia.nikkei.com
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