Port development in Thailand is getting mixed reactions from the local people and businesses, a government official said.
Plans to build a port at Pak Bara in Thailand’s west coast to be linked by road to an expanded port at Songkhla on the east or gulf coast of the country have become a “problem”.
Local residents do not want the port, Pichet Kunadhamraks, senior civil engineer in the Ministry of Transport’s Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, said at a 7 May meeting in Bangkok.
Pressure groups from Pak Bara are fighting hard to stop the port development, believing it will damage the tourism industry.
“We don’t know if it can happen,” Pichet said.
However, the situation at Dawei, the proposed mega-port in Myanmar that will link to Thailand with a still to-be-built road and rail infrastructure, is more encouraging.
The Myanmar government has approved the budget for a highway linking the port to Thailand, Pichet said.
He also reported that a recent road show in Japan by Thai government officials had been well received by Japanese companies, many of which already have factories in Thailand that are likely to be enhanced by future investments in Myanmar.
“Japanese companies see that Dawei can happen,” Pichet said at the meeting.