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  • Order flawed but regime doesn’t care

    03/15/2016

    In plain words, the NCPO’s order No.9/2559 can only quicken projects when it assumes the EIA and EHIA will be approved as a rubber stamp. All other attempts to justify it are illogical.

    But then again, there is a similar failed logic here as in past suggestions that people grow velvet beans instead of rice, shower less in the face of drought or refrain from making sparks to avoid wildfires.

    As the military regime lingers on, the daily dose of illogicality is increasing and becomes more flagrant. If a fast-track solution is ever needed, it’s to expedite the exit of one immodest man’s rule to the more sensible one-man, one-vote.

  • Road building threatening special-use forests

    03/02/2016

    In Thua Thien-Hue province, the companies belonging to the Ministry of Transport are speeding up the clearing of 49 hectares of forest in the core area of the Bach Ma National Park to make room for a highway.

    A 4-lane road that links Thua Thien-Hue and Da Nang City will ‘slice’ through the park.

    In late 2015, local newspapers reported that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) gave a license to build a road through the Cat Tien National Park.

  • Laos starts off as Asean chair with ministers’ retreat

    03/01/2016

    Laos kicks off its Asean chairmanship Friday with an agenda-setting foreign ministers’ retreat in Vientiane, its capital on the east bank of the Mekong River.

    Analysts say this year could be a coming of age for the “lower-middle income economy”, where poverty continues to be widespread, but which is one of the fastest-growing economies in the region.

    Laos last chaired Asean in 2004. Its economy grew by an average of 7 per cent annually in recent years, mostly on the back of its natural resources, a construction boom in Vientiane and rising tourism.

  • Dawei road start faces delays

    02/28/2016

    Construction of a road linking the Dawei deep-sea port in Myanmar with Kanchanaburi will be delayed after Japan determined that 15-degree inclines along seven stretches of the road would be unsafe for lorries.

    Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said on Friday construction of the 138km road from the Dawei deep-sea port to Ban Phu Nam Ron in Kanchanaburi must be postponed.

    The project was due to start in March.

    The delay comes following an inspection by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).

  • Eye On: Baht Beyond Borders

    02/23/2016

    With public opposition to major infrastructure projects a growing concern, and willing partners in neighboring countries eager to pick of the slack, Thailand’s industrialists are fanning out in all directions. Energy projects dominate the mix, including coal, gas and hydropower. As a result, it’s the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand driving much of the activity.

  • China’s Belt and Road initiative ripe with possibilities

    02/11/2016

    FOLLOWING THE launch of its ambitious Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (Belt and Road) initiative in a big way, China followed it up with last month’s official inauguration of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is now operational.

  • China, Laos to build $6.3 bln railway project by 2020 – China Economic Herald

    11/29/2015

    China aims to complete laying a 418-kilometre (260-mile) railway from a border town to Laos by 2020, the official China Economic Herald reported, as the economic giant seeks a new route into the emerging markets of Southeast Asia.

    The two countries agreed on Friday to jointly build a 40-billion yuan ($6.28 billion) railway from the border town of Boten to the Laos capital Vientiane, the Herald reported.

    The deal was announced at a signing ceremony attended by senior officials from the National Development & Reform Commission the country’s top economic planner, China Railway Corporation and the Export-Import Bank of China, the paper said.

    Laos, poor and landlocked, has traditionally been firmly in the orbit of its larger neighbour to the east, Vietnam.

    But China has been aggressively courting Laos as it sees the communist-ruled country as an important route into Southeast Asia, and its ports on the Mekong River for landlocked parts of southwestern China such as Yunnan.

  • Vinaship_Saigon_Port_Viet_Nam

    China’s transport infrastructure initiative to have bad impact on Vietnam’s plan: expert

    10/03/2015

    China’s transport infrastructure initiative, including the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and other related proposals, will pose a threat to Vietnam’s infrastructure development plan in the near future, an expert from the Vietnam Institute for Economic Research and Policy (VEPR) said at a seminar on the Chinese economy in Ho Chi Minh City last week.

  • Higher PPP investment limit urged

    09/20/2015

    The Thai government hopes to ease its public debt burden by luring the private sector to invest more in multibillion-baht infrastructure projects, especially in telecommunications and transport, through public-private partnerships (PPPs).

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