The China-Laos Railroad Project marks Asean’s game changer: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Department of International Economic Affairs published a statement on Thursday saying that the opening of the China-Laos Railway on December 2, marked a key milestone for the business and commercial exchange between Asean and China.
“The project has helped strengthen Thailand’s economic presence through trade, tourism, business diversification and access to the western region of Asia’s largest economy and the Belt-and-Road networks across Eurasia, propel economic development in the mainland Southeast Asia and transform Laos from ‘land-locked to land-linked’ connectivity hub of the region,” the statement read.
The department said the project was aimed to establish logistics hubs, industrial parks and economic corridors linking the projects with other high-potential regions, such as Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and Southern Economic Corridor (SEC) while facilitating the improvement of cross-border financial transactions and e-commerce.
The statement urged economic diplomacy to help steer policy discourse towards the long-term impacts of the project. The department said that Thai export entrepreneurs should be provided with supports and promotions from the government in a bid to revive the economy and strengthen the country.
“At the regional level, with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) coming into force in January 2022, the economic interactions between China and Asean are expected to intensify. Thailand will be able to improve its economic presence in the region, only if it plays a significant role in supporting growth and integration and strengthening macroeconomic stability in the region. This, in turn, can be realised through proactively engaging all partners in creating resilient value chains, adopting international standards and promoting economic compatibility within the region and beyond,” read the statement.