World News

Thailand seeks China loan for ambitious highway

HUA HIN, Thailand (Reuters) - Thailand wants to tap China’s $15 billion Southeast Asian infrastructure loan programme to build an ambitious network of highways linking parts of Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and China, a Thai official said.

The proposed road will link the eastern Vietnamese city of Danang city to Myanmar’s sea port of Moulmein, passing through Thailand. It would also link Thailand’s western province of Kanchanaburi to Myanmar’s deep-sea port of Tavoy and provide a route from Yunnan province via Bangkok to Singapore.

“The Chinese minister reaffirmed that the ASEAN-China Loan Programme can be used for the construction of the logistical highway network of ASEAN member countries,” the statement said.

The idea was discussed when Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming met his Thai counterpart Porntiva Nakasai on the sidelines of the 16-nation East Asia summit in the Thai seaside of Hua Hin.

China is separately establishing a $10 billion China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund, a private equity fund that will support private infrastructure, energy projects in ASEAN and technical cooperation between China and ASEAN, the statement said.

By Nopporn Wong-Anan; Editing by Jason Szep and Jeremy Laurence