BANGKOK – The Transport Minister believes that the Pak Bara Port will contribute to Thailand’s attempt to become a regional hub for water transportation. However, he admitted that Thailand is still inferior to neighboring countries in this field.
During an academic seminar to commemorate the Transport Ministry’s 100th anniversary, Transport Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan stated that the water transportation system is essential to Thailand. However, its slow development has put the country behind its neighbors, such as Singapore and Malaysia. In order to create a systemic development of water transportation, the public sector will lend a hand to the private sector by establishing assistance measures, such as tax barrier reduction. Mr. Charupong stated that it is of utmost importance that Thailand and its private sector work together to develop the nation’s own merchant shipping fleet.
Although Thailand’s export figure is high, the country mostly uses foreign vessels for the purpose, which obstructs Thailand from having total control of trade channels.
With preparations being made for the Laem Chabang Port as well as the ongoing construction of the Pak Bara Port scheduled to be completed in 2-3 years, a connection of the logistic system in the Andaman Sea will be established and Thailand will transform into a regional hub for water transportation.
Additionally, the Transport Ministry has a clear-cut policy on the country’s entire logistic system, including the connection of land, rail, air and water transportation which will help cut down the private sector’s financial burden on logistics.