Mekong Region News

news of major infrastructure development, particularly related to Pan-Asian Railway and Asian Highway, covering Main Land Southeast Asian countries including Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore


JR Hokkaido to supply rolling stock for Royal Railway Cambodia

Southeast Asia Infrastructure | 30-Apr-204

Royal Railway Cambodia has signed an agreement to purchase 11 class 183 KiHa high-speed diesel multiple unit (DMU) cars from JR Hokkaido. The DMUs will provide service on the Phnom Penh–Poipet–Sihanoukville Railway, replacing the existing locomotive-hauled trains.

The KiHa 183 series trains are capable of a maximum speed of up to 110 km/hr. Each train can accommodate 64 passengers. The trains were originally operated on 1067-mm gauge lines in Japan, they will be adapted for Cambodia’s 1000-mm gauge railway network and are set to start operating in June 2024.

The Phnom Penh–Poipet line will span 382 km. It will be built at an investment of more than USD4 billion. Related news…

Funan Techo Canal

The announcement follows the news of a targeted extended list of investment projects which are set to redefine the infrastructure in Cambodia which is trying to better provide much improved and modern transport routes including major expressways, international airports, seaports and waterways – driving diversification and economic development as well as promoting the country as a potential destination for logistics and shipping.

With the combination of infrastructure and logistics projects, and significant investment in the sector (and Foreign Direct Investment), Cambodia is positioning itself to challenge and become a major player in regional trade and commerce. Read more…

Industry insiders say Malaysia and Thailand stand to benefit greatly from a KL-Bangkok HSR

“In the long run, Malaysia may benefit from the plan for a KL-Bangkok HSR, although some may argue that it may not be economically feasible given that the distance between the two links is greater than that of KL to Singapore,” said the insider.

The capitals of Malaysia and Thailand are separated by about 1,400-1,500 kilometres, but Padang Besar in Perlis is only roughly 450 km from Kuala Lumpur.

In comparison, the HSR from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore is between 330 km and 350 km long. Read more…

Border road project to be sped up

Efforts are being made to speed up the road alignment project connecting the checkpoints of Malaysia-Thailand border, with a final decision in two weeks.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the project, linking the Bukit Kayu Hitam Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) checkpoint and the Sadao Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex, was vital in ensuring faster and more comfortable traffic flow on both sides.

“The alignment project has been delayed and must be done immediately. It took some time because it involved military areas.

“Within two weeks we will make a final decision to iron out the matter,” he told a press conference at the Bukit Kayu Hitam ICQS Complex yesterday. Read more…

Mid-Oct launch confirmed for Siem Reap airport

The formal launch of the Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport (SAI) is still scheduled for mid-October, following the “success” of last week’s flight validation, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) spokesman Sinn Chanserey Vutha on May 16.

Chanserey Vutha told The Post that the technical team had given the green light to the airport’s CNS (communication, navigation and surveillance) infrastructure and equipment after last week’s tests. Read more…

Phnom Penh – Bavet expressway ground breaks

During the June 7 groundbreaking ceremony of the Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway and new bridge across the Mekong River, Prime Minister Hun Sen noted that the expressway is part of the project implementation of The Asian Highway Network project, which in the past remained only a dream, as the financing was unavailable. The network is now becoming a reality, he added.

“With the participation of the private sector, we are finally able to connect Phnom Penh with Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok. This connection requires more than just roads – there is also a major bridge to construct,” he said. Read more…

5th Thai-Lao bridge opens next year

The fifth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge is set to open early next year which should help boost Bueng Kan’s economic prospects, says the government.

The mid-section of the bridge, the last jigsaw piece of the construction, is expected to be completed in the middle of this year, said deputy government spokeswoman Tipanan Sirichana on Saturday.

Once open early next year, the bridge will accelerate border exchanges and transform the province into a trading centre in the region, she said.

The area is also expected to boost trade in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), as it will speed up imports between Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China (Yunnan). Read more…

Cambodia seeks investors for first high-speed railway

Cambodia is seeking investors for its first high-speed railway, which could cost roughly $4 billion.

The railway, starting from the capital Phnom Penh to Poipet, a town bordering Thailand, covers a distance of 382 kilometers. Trains will run at a designed speed of 160 to 200 kilometers per hour, according to a statement sent to the Global Times by Chinese infrastructure giant China Road & Bridge Corp (CRBC) on Tuesday. Read more…

Vietnam’s Rail Network Headed for Fast-Track?

Spanning the breadth of the Red River, Long Bien Bridge, built by the French over a century ago, was once a key arterial for the city of Hanoi.

Largely replaced by road transport and air travel, however, it now stands rusted and decayed, remnants of a by-gone era in which rail ruled supreme.

Indeed, Vietnam’s rail network has struggled to keep up with the country’s rapid economic growth. It is, however, now teetering on the cusp of being reborn, as Vietnam’s infrastructure and logistics enter a new phase of development.

Hanoi-HCMC high-speed rail may be on the cards
Last month, Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment floated the idea of a north-south high-speed railway connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Read more…

Thailand expects to become logistics hub in ASEAN

Thailand’s Ministry of Transport has proposed a scheme to turn Thailand into a key logistics hub to cover land, air and maritime transport in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). September 15, 2022

Minister of Transport Saksayam Chidchob unveiled the plan on September 14 after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Transportation Working Group met in Bangkok. Read more…

Thailand’s high-speed railway will carry first passengers in 2023

The first section of the 873 kilometre high-speed railway running between Thailand and China should be operating by 2023.

Thailand will now pay for the total cost of the 179 billion baht first section of the high speed rail line, but China is providing the design and will provide the train and carriages. The first 252 kilometre leg, from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima, in the north east, is set to carry its first passengers in 2023. Read more…

China-Laos rail ahead of RCEP, a boon to SE Asia economy

There are high expectations that the China-Laos Railway, which was launched on Friday, a landmark project under China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) linking Kunming of Southwest China’s Yunnan Province with Vientiane, will drive trade and investment between China and Southeast Asia and promote cooperation in the Lancang-Mekong region in a flourishing era of bilateral relations, officials said.

The railway will not only help Laos expand trade and attract investment, catapulting the landlocked Southeast Asian nation into a land-linked hub, but also facilitate regional countries to seize opportunities fueled by the world’s largest trade deal as the RCEP will take effect starting January 1, 2022. Read more …

Laos to test train line to China in August 2021

The test on the 420-kilometre track was set for August before the service launch in December, the Vientiane Times on Wednesday quoted the official involving in the project. Read more…

Nearly 80 pct of China-Laos railway construction completed

The railway will serve as a key infrastructure for the economic corridor between the two countries and help boost trade, investment and tourism, said Sonexay at the China-ASEANExpo held in Nanning, capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

With a designed speed of 160 km per hour, the China-Laos railway is expected to be fully operational in 2021. Read more …

Laos’ first dry port moves forward to world connectivity

SAVANNAKHET, Laos (Vientiane Times/ANN) – Operated by the Savan Logistics Company Limited, Laos’ first dry port at the Savan Park Zone C in the Savan-Seno Special Economic Zone is now closer to becoming a regional trans-shipment hub between ASEAN and China via existing linkages to regional ports.

In this strategic geographical location, the country’s first Dry Port/Inland Container Depot is now connecting Laos to the world by linking with the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) between Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, mid-way between the nearest Vietnamese seaport of Danang and Thai ports in Bangkok and Laem Chabang. Read more…

Freshwater dolphins in the Mekong are benefitting from better protection

In 2015 there were only about 80 individual dolphins left in the Mekong. In an encouraging sign, last year as many as 92 of the aquatic mammals were counted by conservationists — the highest number in 20 years.

The increase in the number of dolphins has been driven by stepped-up conservation efforts that were set in place to combat illegal fishing activities in the river. In 2012 a protected no-fishing area was set up in the Mekong in order preserve the last few dozen dolphins. The conservation area lies at the core of their habitat that stretches from the eastern part of Cambodia’s Kratie province to the country’s border with Laos. Read more …

Mekong countries emphasise infrastructure connectivity

Countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) should enhance their economic and infrastructure connectivity to promote economic development in the sub-region, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong said at a forum on September 19.

Deputy Minister Huy Dong made his remarks during the ninth GMS Economic Corridors Forum, themed “Deepening and Widening Benefits of the Economic Corridors through Inter-sectoral Synergies.” The forum, co-organised by Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), attracted ministers, vice-ministers, senior officials, development partners and representatives of the private sector from the six GMS countries. Read more…

ADB urges implementation of Cross-border Transport pact

As growing trade and investment linkages in Asia and the Pacific have helped to improve the region’s overall resilience to global economic and trade policy uncertainties, countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) need to make swifter progress in streamlining trade through multilateral agreements that cut red tape, according to a new report.

According to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Asian Economic Integration Report 2017 (AEIR) released yesterday, for the GMS region – an area that includes Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Yunnan province in southern China – the greatest obstacle to increasing trade is the lack of implementation of the Cross-Border Transport Facilitation Agreement (CBTA). Read more…