Next Mekong Bridge

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by DavidFL, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    http://etna.mcot.net/query.php?nid=22390

    BANGKOK, June 7 (TNA) – Thailand will speed up negotiations with China for a final conclusion in a project to build the third bridge across the Mekong River so that it can be used as a key transport route between both countries through Laos, according to the National Economic and Social Development Board.

    Speaking here Wednesday of progress in the Greater Mekong Sub-region cooperation between six member countries, including China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, NESDB’s Deputy Secretary-General Arkom Termpittayapaisith said all parties concerned had stepped up efforts to negotiate for common rules on border-crossing product fee collection to reduce transport costs as much as possible.

    At present, he said entrepreneurs had complained that fees on the border-crossing transport of products from Thailand to China remain very high.

    Should the problem be solved, the transport costs will reduce considerably.

    At the same time, he said officials concerned had accelerated developing a product transport route between Thailand and China through Laos, starting from Thailand’s Chiang Kong District in northern Chiang Rai Province to Laos’ Huay Sai.

    Currently, China has also developed a transport route from Kunming to Laos’ Luang Nam Tha and co-invested with Thailand and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in building a road linking China, Laos and Thailand.

    However, the project could not yet be fully implemented because it needs to wait for the construction of the third bridge across the Mekong River that links Thailand and Laos, starting from Chiang Kong District and Huay Sai, he noted.

    The new bridge construction project is under negotiation in terms of budget allocation since Thailand wants China to share the budget in the same amount.

    However, China viewed the construction budget of US$44 million was too high.

    Later, the budget was cut to around US$30 million. But China has not yet shared the approval.

    It is under negotiations, which are expected to be finalized soon.

    Mr. Arkom said he believed the transport route, if completely linked, would help boost bilateral trade value between China and Thailand considerably.

    Davidfl
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