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Doubts raised about benefits from rail project
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  1. #1
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    Doubts raised about benefits from rail project

    Sino-Thai mega-railway project

    Doubts raised about benefits from rail project
    SASITHORN ONGDEE

    THE NATION March 14, 2016 1:00 am

    LOCAL PEOPLE in Khon Kaen and Saraburi are still wondering what they stand to gain from the 837-kilometre Sino-Thai mega-railway project.
    "Opportunities for Khon Kaen people to participate in the railway project are still in doubt," Samart Angwararong, former president of the Federation of Thailand Industry's Khon Kaen Chapter, said at a market-sounding seminar late last month.

    "How can we be sure we'll reap benefits from it?" he asked.

    The two provinces are among five where the Transport Ministry plans to hold market-testing seminars over the past month in order to inform local people of what benefits they will get from the project and to hear their requests.

    At the seminars, authorities tried to convince the participants that the projects would bring high economic returns, as the country could save fuel, reduce road accidents, halt city dispersion urban migration and promote economic expansion that would lead to better livelihood and wealth for the people.

    However, many people attending both events said they did not want the Sino-Thai railway project if it just made the local areas a passageway for a lot of foreign tourists and business travellers, causing more pollution and waste caused by the rising number of industrial estates and people.

    Local people could not have real benefits from the project, even any right to use commercial areas developed around the rail stations.

    Khon Kaen was designated to be a hub of logistics transport and distribution in the Northeast. Agricultural and processed products will get a competitive advantage in terms of logistics costs and industrial parks will relocate there. Now the province has only one park for auto parts.

    Saraburi was planned to be a logistics hub, as it's recognised as a home of the ceramic industry as well as other manufacturers of building materials. Saraburi aims to become a hub of green and health food industries.

    However, the two provinces are expected to suffer the most from the Sino-Thai railway project.

    Khon Kaen's Ban Phai district will be cut in half by the railroad while Saraburi's Muang district will be cut into four quarters if the railroad passes through, in conjunction with Phaholyothin Road, which already divides the city into two.

    At the Khon Kaen seminar, Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said the reason why the country would have a 1.435-metre gauge railroad was because the world had changed. Connectivity should be taken into account for every transport system.

    "The Sino-Thai railway project cooperation is not new. What's new is the [investment] figure, which is still being estimated and is going into detail as the technology has been changed," he said.

    He said the government had not made more concessions for China to make a greater investment in the project since the two parties signed their memo of understanding.

    Local people were also worried about huge capital flows from China that may affect small firms.

    At the Khon Kaen seminar, Samart said about 40 per cent of the province's income came from industry. However, over the past 10 years, most of the operators were from the central region and abroad.

    Large operators were ready to tackle market competition. But SMEs, owned by local people, may not be. "I have never seen any local operators get the right to jointly develop land surrounding the railroad stations as commercial areas, even the right to open a coffee shop," he said.

    Should investors be from China if the government says there will be industries to invest in? Who will get the most resources? These questions were raised. For instance, when Chinese investors come to buy rice here, they are interested in renting paddy fields to grow rice rather than buying rice from locals.

    Rice mills and logistics transport may be run by Chinese firms. "We want a clear policy for what we can participate in, in the project, or what privileges we can receive for our participation," he said.

  2. #2
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    Re: Doubts raised about benefits from rail project

    Of course it isn't intended to help the local people....It is for the transporting goods multi-national.
    Which is the case for every mass transport system.

    "However, many people attending both events said they did not want the Sino-Thai railway project if it just made the local areas a passageway for a lot of foreign tourists and business travellers, causing more pollution and waste caused by the rising number of industrial estates and people."

    I am sure they designed and built their motorbikes and mobile phones in their garage. And for sure they don't eat any chili as it was brought to them by these evil travellers. It is one of the most ignorant thing I have ever read.

    If you take out every Chinese influence from Thailand there won't be anything left.

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    Re: Doubts raised about benefits from rail project

    "Local people were also worried about huge capital flows from China that may affect small firms.

    At the Khon Kaen seminar, Samart said about 40 per cent of the province's income came from industry. However, over the past 10 years, most of the operators were from the central region and abroad.

    Large operators were ready to tackle market competition. But SMEs, owned by local people, may not be. "I have never seen any local operators get the right to jointly develop land surrounding the railroad stations as commercial areas, even the right to open a coffee shop," he said.

    "Should investors be from China if the government says there will be industries to invest in? Who will get the most resources? These questions were raised. For instance, when Chinese investors come to buy rice here, they are interested in renting paddy fields to grow rice rather than buying rice from locals.

    Rice mills and logistics transport may be run by Chinese firms. "We want a clear policy for what we can participate in, in the project, or what privileges we can receive for our participation," he said."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I think there are valid concerns to consider. It would be naive to think China is doing this just for the benefit of the Thai people. China has overcrowded and over used it's own country and is now looking to find to territory to exploit.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/op...pire.html?_r=0
    Last edited by Susana; 19-03-16 at 05:51 PM. Reason: add a thought

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    Re: Doubts raised about benefits from rail project

    Thailand and China have almost the same population density.

    Of course Chinese firms try to make profit. Thai CP food is very big in China. That is global business. If everyone shuts down the own borders for foreign business than everyone loose and Thailand loose much more than China.

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    Re: Doubts raised about benefits from rail project

    Hi

    Has nothing to do with helping either countries peoples. It is all about expansionisn. I said years ago in the 80's that China would control the world one day and without a shot being fired. so true now
    they are using their economy to drive their expansion dreams and it is working. while the USA is stuck in the big stick theory trying to force by might only causing hatred and violence against USA.
    While China is gaining lots of pseudo friends thru work projects and massive loans.

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    Re: Doubts raised about benefits from rail project

    I believe in 'mutual benefit' which is important in every business transaction. In this case the country of Thailand must benefit, not just at the top of the economic structure, but throughout society. Just my opinion, which is highly unlikely to change.
    Last edited by Susana; 20-03-16 at 06:54 PM.

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    Re: Doubts raised about benefits from rail project

    Quote Originally Posted by Susana View Post
    I believe in 'mutual benefit' which is important in every business transaction. In this case the country of Thailand must benefit, not just at the top of the economic structure, but throughout society. Just my opinion, which is highly unlikely to change.
    Well with easier shipping a lot medium size companies benefit.....For example we import raw materials from China, so does our competitor. That ends up in all kind of technical applications, mostly in production machines, tractors, construction machines, but also some sport equipment. So we get cheaper, a lot small and medium size companies get spare parts cheaper, so it trickles down the chain. If the train brings in cheap tourists from China, they also eat a fried chicken from Somchai on the street. If the economic structure in Thailand is fair not cheaper transportation is always a profit for the whole country (well unless someone gets a monopoly and it isn't cheap, which could be in Thailand).

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