(Yicai Global) Sept. 23 -- China and Thailand have agreed on the cost and timing of a high-speed rail project's first phase after protracted and difficult talks.
The price tag is THB179 billion (USD5.16 billion) and the project will kick off in December, overseas media cited Thailand's transport minister as saying. China will finance its technology systems and Thailand, the construction, said Mr. Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.
The high-speed link is an important component of a pan-Asian rail network China advocates and forms part of a Thai initiative to upgrade that country's aging network. The deal was reached on Sept. 21 after a three-day meeting.
The 873-kilometer line will connect Nong Khai, a key port city in northeastern Thailand, with regions bordering Laos and link Map Ta Phut in eastern Thailand with Rayong Industrial Zone. The line will also connect Thailand with Kunming in southwestern China via Laos.