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PM Srettha warns Bangkok Port relocation plan could hit exports

PM Srettha warns Bangkok Port relocation plan could hit exports

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Friday poured cold water on plans to relocate Bangkok Port out of the city, warning of disruption to exports.

Asked about the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA)’s proposal to move the port, Srettha told reporters covering his visit to City Hall that relevant agencies should carefully consider all the factors. He also remarked that Thailand’s biggest port, Laem Chabang in Chonburi province, is currently being expanded.

Srettha, who is also the finance minister, was speaking at a press conference after meeting with Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt to discuss city development.

Chadchart suggested last year that Bangkok Port be moved from Khlong Toei to Laem Chabang. The move would reduce freight-truck trips at Bangkok Port by at least 1 million per year, cutting traffic congestion and easing PM2.5 air pollution in the city, the governor said. It would also mean container ships no longer had to use the Chao Phraya River, clearing the way for the BMA’s planned flood-prevention project, he added.

Laem Chabang Port handles over 10 million cargo containers every year, compared with just 1 million at Bangkok Port. Laem Chabang is considered an environmentally friendly port with a railway connection to the Inland Container Depot in Bangkok’s Lat Krabang district.

PM Srettha warns Bangkok Port relocation plan could hit exports
 

PM Srettha warns Bangkok Port relocation plan could hit exports

However, the Transport Ministry, which oversees the Port Authority of Thailand, says it has no plans to relocate Bangkok Port.

Chadchart has also complained that despite being included in the national action plan, the plan to move Bangkok Port has not been adopted by any state agency.

According to Transport Ministry sources, Bangkok Port is responsible for important cargo goods and functions as a distribution centre. They said that any relocation would affect the country’s import and export businesses and economy.

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