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Asean again seeks funds for eight-nation rail link
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Asean again seeks funds for eight-nation rail link

SINGAPORE: The Asean bloc will try again to spark investor interest in a much-delayed railway link from Singapore to the Chinese city of Kunming, officials said yesterday.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) economic ministers said they will convene a conference and exhibition in early 2009 to “publicise, promote and attract investments” for the Singapore-Kunming Railway Link, a joint statement said.

A special working group on the railway project will meet in November in Malaysia, it said.

Asean ministers made a similar call at their annual meetings last year, when they also said they were seeking to generate investor interest through a special “high profile seminar” later that year.

To complete the link, 550 kilometres of “missing links” still need to be built at an estimated cost of two billion US dollars, at 2006 prices, the ministers said.

The railway line, spanning 5,000 kilometres and eight countries, aims to link Singapore with the Chinese city as part of efforts to bring economic development to the bloc’s poorest members Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

The project, which includes constructing railway stations and related infrastructure, has been hobbled by lack of funds and other technical issues.

Asean’s more developed member states are Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

The grouping’s economic ministers ended five days of meetings in Singapore yesterday.

During the week, they announced the conclusion of free trade accords linking Asean with India as well as with its Pacific neighbours Australia and New Zealand.



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Vientiane-Thakhek and Thakhek-Vietnam would be great.

Vientiane-LuangPrabang too, but i'm affraid much more expensive because of the mountain. Maybe Vientiane-Vangvieng to start could be more realistic.

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Anonymous

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The railway line, spanning 5,000 kilometres and eight countries, aims to link Singapore with the Chinese city as part of efforts to bring economic development to the bloc’s poorest members Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

strangely, from the details & maps published in the Singapore newspapers over the past few weeks, the rail link does not go through Laos & Myanmar at all. the route shown only passes through 6 nations: Singapore - Malaysia - Thailand - Cambodia - Vietnam - China, & the missing parts that need funding are in Cambodia (from Aranyaprathet-Poipet border to I can't recall where, & another section to link to somewhere in Vietnam, think maybe Saigon). China herself is upgrading one section between the Vietnam border & Kunming.

but of course the tracks from Tha Naleng to Nong Khai connect Laos to the Singapore-Kunming line via Thailand.


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