Thailand Eyes ‘Land Bridge’ to Link its Coasts

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha this week publicly endorsed a proposed land bridge between the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, apparently shelving a long-discussed project to build a canal across the Malay Peninsula.

The dueling project ideas have generated debate, with some calling the canal a security risk and others arguing that a so-called land bridge – deep sea ports connected by road and rail – would be far less profitable and practical than the waterway.

Prayuth on Tuesday touted the land bridge as a way to kick-start economic growth at a time when tourism and exports have taken a huge hit because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“[We] are studying a land bridge, I gave the guideline. I think it will help the economy in the long term,” Prayuth said. “We need a new project. We are looking into how to connect transportations of the west coast and east coast.”

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Nontarat Phaicharoen