Monday, May 20, 2024
HomethailandgeneralCall for Ayutthaya logistics hub

Call for Ayutthaya logistics hub

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) is asking the government to consider making Ayutthaya a new logistics hub to serve growing investment, following the construction of the Chinese-Thai high-speed rail system.

While the logistics hub can be connected with Ayutthaya’s rail, road and river transport network, a dry port could be developed in the province, which houses five industrial estates, said the panel.

“Ayutthaya can use this opportunity to improve its logistics infrastructure to generate more value for its economy,” said Phagorn Wangsirabat, vice-chairman of the provincial industry chapter under the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), a key JSCCIB member.

The government is building the 179-billion-baht Thai-Sino high-speed rail system linking Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima in the Northeast, spanning a distance of 253 kilometres.

The route passes Ayutthaya, where the ancient city is a Unesco World Heritage site.

The construction plan calls for an elevated rail track at the existing Ayutthaya rail station, which is 1.5km from the province’s historic sites, according to media reports.

This proximity led to concerns that the development may affect Ayutthaya’s World Heritage status.

The business sector wants the government to move the station for the high-speed train to the Ban Ma sub-district.

“Ban Ma is far from the Ayutthaya station, around 3-5km, and it has a large area for the development of the logistics hub and a goods distribution centre. It is a good location,” said Mr Phagorn.

The five industrial estates in the province — Hi-Tech, Rojana, Bang Pa-in, Nakhon Luang and Wang Noi — support automobiles and auto parts, electronics, and food processing businesses.

The industries account for 70% of Ayutthaya’s GDP of 500 billion baht and employ 330,000 workers, according to the FTI.

Chinese investors are interested in investing in food processing and are seeking Thai partners to form joint ventures, said Somwang Toongsuwan, secretary-general of FTI’s provincial industry chapter in Ayutthaya.

“One Chinese investor already bought more than 100 rai of industrial land for business expansion,” he said.

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