The Southern Economic Corridor will make it possible to deliver goods among Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar by 2015. (Map: StockFile)
Southern Economic Corridor will boost regional trade
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 01:30 (GMT + 9)
Thailand and Vietnam are together building the 900-km R10 route, or Southern Economic Corridor, to help develop trade, investments and tourism. The route will connect southern Vietnam with Dawei in Myanmar and allow for better distribution of goods among Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar by 2015.
It will be paid for using loans from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Thai government.
Panpimon Suwannapongse, the Thai consul-general to Ho Chi Minh City, said the R10 route will link southern Vietnam and Thailand's east-coast provinces with Cambodia. Southern Vietnam’s mekong River Delta holds 13 provinces that make up a fruitful agricultural-goods and fish farming region, which contribute greatly to Vietnam’s economy and are the site of future infrastructure projects, including the country's next major deep-sea port.
The R10 route will help Thailand seafood producers get their hands on Vietnamese raw materials, as well as transport goods throughout that region, The Nation reports.
Pen Sitha, deputy director of Sihanoukville Port, said Cambodia was planning its sixth deep-sea-port project to accommodate larger vessels, enabling cargo shipments and supporting more economic and trade expansion. This project will cost USD 90 million and start in 2014 with completion expected in 2017.
Pham Thanh Toui, chairman of a residents' committee in Ca Mau, hopes that Thailand and Vietnam can jointly develop direct land and sea routes to connect them and facilitate trade between Ca Mau and Thailand's Tak province, to bypass the indirect route through Cambodian ports. The lower resulting costs would benefit Thai exports to Vietnam.
Customs processing is another area that Thailand and Vietnam wish to improve to spark trade, distribution of goods and tourism.
The joint development efforts of the Southern Economic Corridor are of great interest ahead of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community's implementation in 2015, as they will boost the economic expansion of major cities near the route and support infrastructure and cooperation between the public and private sector.
By Natalia Real