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Thailand 2020 Program to Link Nong Khai with Laos and Southern China

October 9, 2013 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt has stated that the Government’s huge investment in infrastructure development, under the “Thailand 2020” program, would link Nong Khai province in northeastern Thailand with Laos and southern China.

In the weekly program “Yingluck Government Meets the People” on 5 October 2013, Mr. Chadchart explained that the two-trillion-baht investment program would lead to the construction of a high-speed train system, double-track train routes, four-lane roads, customs checkpoints, and product research centers in the regional areas of the country.

He said that Nong Khai, in which a road show on the Thailand 2020 program was carried out between 4 and 6 October, must prepare for economic expansion and tourism growth in the future. With the planned high-speed train system, it will take only three hours to travel from Bangkok to Nong Khai. From Nong Khai, the new system will link not only with Laos, but also Yunnan in southern China, with a population of 300 million. This will create business opportunities and new cities, while distributing wealth to various sectors of society.

Mr. Chadchart said that, according to the plan, new motorways would be built in 2014, followed by four-lane roads and double-track train system. Construction of the high-speed train system is likely to begin in the third quarter of 2014. He urged Nong Khai to set its new development strategies to cope with new trends brought by the Thailand 2020 program. He said that upper northeastern provinces, such as Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Nong Bua Lamphu, Loei, and Bueng Kan have great potential and they are major tourism destinations, with interesting cultural attractions.

Nong Khai Governor Wirat Limsuwat said that Nong Khai was recognized as the seventh most livable town in the world. It has good weather and environment, and other criteria include culture and cost of living. Local residents heard about the high-speed train system two years ago. They also know that there will be a high-speed train from Kunming to Vientiane and Nong Khai, and that another one will come from Bangkok to Nong Khai and vice versa. Nong Khai residents have been told to prepare for the future when a great number of tourists and investors would come.

The Governor said that the Government has a policy to develop Nong Khai as a special economic zone. Local people want to see the province become a special zone, but one for green industries and services, since they are concerned about the environment.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Nong Khai Provincial Administrative Organization Yutthana Sritabut said that Nong Khai would be a center attracting visitors from three countries, namely China, Vietnam, and Laos. With the arrival of the train project, the province plans to equip local residents with the knowledge of English and technology to prepare them for new opportunities. He visualized Nong Khai attracting numerous tourists who would stay in the province for longer periods.

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