A Fuxing bullet train runs through Yuanjiang grand bridge on the China-Laos Railway in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, June 1, 2022. (Xinhua/Jiang Wenyao)
Pinit Jarusombat is optimistic about the development of cross-border railway logistics and the prospect of Thailand as a regional hub. Citing the example of Thai agricultural products exported to China, he highlighted that the China-Laos railway accelerates the transportation speed of chilled and frozen fruits and vegetables.
BANGKOK, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The China-Laos-Thailand railway project will be a grand gateway that benefits people in Southeast Asia, former Thai Deputy Prime Minister Pinit Jarusombat told Xinhua in a recent interview.
The China-Laos railway, which started operation at the end of last year, has provided a new logistics option for Thailand's trade with China.
"It totally exceeded expectations," Pinit said, adding that despite the pandemic, the frequency of train service had to be increased several times due to the huge demand.
"The Sino-Thai railway is currently under construction and Thailand expects it to be operational very soon," Pinit said.
Once it is completed, a transportation corridor through all three countries will significantly increase the speed of movement of people and goods between Southeast Asia and China, he added.
Pinit is also optimistic about the development of cross-border railway logistics and the prospect of Thailand as a regional hub. Citing the example of Thai agricultural products exported to China, he highlighted that the China-Laos railway accelerates the transportation speed of chilled and frozen fruits and vegetables.
In addition to infrastructure construction, Pinit said the Belt and Road Initiative deserves praise for bringing investment and business opportunities to countries along the route.
A container of fruits from Thailand is transported from China-Laos Railway cargo train to a truck at Nateuy Station in Luang Namtha Province, Laos, April 1, 2022. (Photo by Gao Jiabing/Xinhua)
According to him, an increasing number of Chinese companies have entered Thailand in various fields, such as durian planting, rubber businesses, as well as automobile, energy and high-tech industries.
"The Belt and Road Initiative has further promoted Chinese investment in Thailand and boosted the development of new models of cooperation between Chinese and Thai companies," Pinit said.
Referring to bilateral relations, Pinit, who has visited China dozens of times, said that the trade volume between the two countries has soared in the past decade, and the cooperation has been expanding with increasingly frequent contacts from the top governmental level to the private sector.
He mentioned that the Thai government attaches great importance to the development of the relationship with China, and both countries need to further strengthen cooperation in businesses, investment and tourism in the future.
Pinit spoke highly of the Global Development Initiative (GDI) proposed by China. He said the initiative is timely and visionary to help countries solve current challenges at a time when the world economy and livelihoods are being threatened by the pandemic.
Food security is also an urgent issue at the moment due to supply chain disruptions and geopolitical factors, Pinit said. He believes that the GDI can help countries reduce disputes and return to the track of dialogue.■