BANGKOK: Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Tuesday pitched the proposed 1 trillion baht (100 baht = RM13.08) land bridge project to investors in the United States, promoting the shipping route shortcut as a “cheaper, faster, and safer” alternative to Straits of Malacca.
Srettha who is also Finance Minister, is currently in San Francisco for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and Related Meetings, attended the “Thailand Land Bridge Roadshow” to attract investors to the mega project, as the Thai government worked to spur investments and stimulate economic growth.
He said the land bridge will be an important alternative, cutting shipping times between the Indian and Pacific oceans by bypassing the congested Strait of Malacca.
“To support transportation, the land bridge project offers a “cheaper, faster, and safer” option, which is expected to cut shipping time by four days and lower logistic costs by an average of 15 percent.
“It will help create 280,000 jobs and the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow 5.5 per cent per year when the project is fully implemented,” he said.
The prime minister said Strait of Malacca, the world’s second busiest shipping lane, has about 90,000 ships passing through it each year and recorded an average of 2.35 per cent traffic increase annually.
At this rate, Malacca Strait will reach its capacity by 2030.
Srettha said the land bridge project presents an unprecedented investment opportunity in key commercial and strategic project that links the Pacific and Indian Oceans while connecting people in the east and west.
“ I invite all participants to explore ways to become partners in this historic project and reap mutual benefits,” he said. – Bernama