Infrastructure Update: July 3, 2019

Infrastructure Update: July 3, 2019
Authors: Riley Smith, Jack Myint, and Elizabeth Rickert
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

July 8-9: Cambodia Business Mission 

July 22: SME Workshop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

July 24: Roundtable with Incoming Senior Commercial Officer, US Embassy Jakarta

July 26: ASEAN Presidents' Luncheon Series

August 14-16: Thailand Business Mission 

September 11-12: Belt and Road Summit, Hong Kong

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Vietnam to begin construction of US$5 billion motorway

On June 13, Vietnam’s Ministry of Transportation announced that it will build a 654 km, US$5 billion motorway that will run through 13 provinces. This expressway will start in Nam Dinh, about 60 km south of Hanoi, and travel to the southern province of Vinh Long in the Mekong Delta. The Vietnamese government has begun clearing sites for the route and road construction is expected to begin in April 2020. The government plans to split this large proposal into 11 sub-projects, of which three will be state-funded and eight will be offered on a public-private partnership basis. Bids for the motorway will open in August 2019. These bids are open to international companies. Currently, interest has been shown by 24 Vietnamese, six Chinese, two Japanese, one French, and one South Korean company.

Indonesia looks to undertake ambitious toll road project

As part of President Joko Widodo’s (popularly known as Jokowi) plans to modernize infrastructure, Indonesia is looking to expand its toll road system to 5,400 kilometers (3,355 miles), almost triple the length of the current network, by 2024. This expansion will cost the nation US$70 billion. More than half of these roads will be built on the island of Sumatra, where connections between the two ends are currently poor. Many of the roads will be large bridges and long tunnels to minimize the effect on Sumatra's endangered wildlife.

Jokowi’s goal is to decrease the cost of everyday items, improve connectivity, and allow all 17,000 islands equal opportunity to develop. The government believes that the only way to generate faster economic growth is through connectivity. The toll road is the center piece to the government’s US$400 billion worth of building projects to modernize Indonesia.

However, analysts have expressed concerns about funding. They worry that a US$70 billion highway system will strain Indonesia’s banking system and the balance sheets of local construction companies. Aware of these concerns, the government is developing economic programs to prepare for the hefty cost such as raising the luxury sales tax to boost investment and accelerate economic growth. Following news of the plan to expand Indonesia’s toll road system, the country’s toll road operator, PT Jasa Marga, saw an immediate jump in its share price, as did state-owned construction firms, though they saw smaller jumps in their share prices.

Rail project between Chumphon and Ranong stalls

The railway project from Chumphon to Ranong, which was to link the Gulf of Thailand to the Andaman Sea to help boost the Southern Economic Corridor, has been put on hold indefinitely. Thailand’s Comptroller General’s Department decided to put the project, which was slated to begin this year, on hold after a review revealed concerns about its economic viability. Earlier this year, on January 22, 2019, the then-Thai Cabinet approved the development of the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC), which is to cover 116 projects and have a budget of 106.79 billion THB (around US$3.39 billion). The development is supposed to last from 2019-2022 and take up approximately 300,000 square meters of land in the Chumphon, Ranong, Surat Thani, and Nakhon Sri Thammarat provinces. The infrastructure development projects that have been announced as part of the SEC are similar to those that fall under the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). The SEC also has many raw materials such as rubber and palm used to create value-added products. You can read more about the SEC in the Council's February 8 Thailand Update here.

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has said that the rail project is likely to be brought back for consideration within the next two or three years. This is because an SRT report found that the rail link would be beneficial for economic development due to the lack of a rail link with Ranong. The SRT remains keen on the project. However, a different study, this one done by the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, claimed that the project is only likely to become economically viable if its opening is delayed until 2034.  

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

US-ASEAN Business Council Hosts OPIC Chief of Staff for Working Lunches in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore

On June 20 and 21, the US-ASEAN Business Council's Malaysia and Singapore Country Offices, respectively, hosted Mr. Eric Jones, Chief of Staff at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), for working lunches with member companies. During the working lunches, Jones gave member company representatives an update on OPIC’s worldwide activities and how the development finance institution fits within the U.S. Government's broader Free and Open Indo-Pacific vision. Under the Build Act, which U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law in October 2018, OPIC will be reorganized into the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (USDFC), which will bring together the capabilities of OPIC and USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA), as well as introduce new and innovative financial products to better bring private capital to the developing world. The Build Act also expands USDFC's financial capabilities beyond those of OPIC and DCA to include the ability to make limited equity investments in projects and an increase in the organization's investment cap. USDFC's investment cap will be US$60 billion, more than double OPIC's investment cap of US$29 billion. More information on the Build Act and the new USDFC can be found here and here, respectively.

IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Train service from Bangkok to Thailand-Cambodia border resumes

Indonesia
Neither BRT nor LRT: Indonesia looks to rail-based bus system for traffic solutions
An Asian airline will start testing drones capable of hauling tons of cargo
$70 Billion Toll-Road Plan to Connect Indonesia's Sprawl
Indonesia's Jokowi eyes more mass, rapid transport development
World Bank grants $49.6 million loan for Indonesia’s urban planning program
Democracy shields Indonesia from Belt and Road fallout
More roads, more dams, more power plants for Indonesia
Govt earmarks Rp50 billion for tourism development in Labuan Bajo
Ministry of PUPR urges checking old bridges
Ministry facilitates Chinese entrepreneurs to develop infrastructure - ANTARA News
Economists Call the Increase in Infrastructure Funds the Right Step
Thailand, Laos step up transport connectivity

Malaysia
Sabah ports have potential to compete with Singapore, Philippines — Chief Minister
So what exactly is the Penang Transport Master Plan and how is it being funded?
Baru pledges to develop all roads in Sarawak, despite restrictions
Johor planning to build $4.9m covered walkway along Causeway
Railway project draws huge interest from Malaysian construction companies
Japan to invest further in Malaysia's infrastructure assets
PDP model for Pan Borneo Highway in Sarawak to be announced soon
Malaysia to spend RM45b on development projects
Malaysian company managing High-Speed Rail project appoints consultants to review design, cut cost
Finance Ministry must be transparent in stating cost for four highways
Govt plans nationwide port expansion
Over 1,000 local firms apply for ECRL civil works
Sarawak to continue business-friendly policies to attract foreign investments

Myanmar
Yangon builds eight wharfs within three-year time
Centre promises to operate buses between Mizoram & Myanmar
Rail connectivity in the North-east
Bus service to Mandalay from Imphal to start soon
Yangon to reallocate K16 billion for public development
Yangon Govt Drops $10 Million Spending Proposals
Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar-Economic corridor project not abandoned, says China
Myanmar's parliament approves signing as observer in BRI-related mechanism - China.org.cn
Three locations identified for China-Myanmar Economic Corridor
Myanmar and Lao to get infrastructure boost

Philippines
Infrastructure projects accelerated
PH invests in infrastructure to lure businesses amid U.S.-China trade war
Hitting the infrastructure halfway mark
Japan commits 1.3 trillion yen to help build railways in PH
Vivant eyes water, infrastructure projects in Cebu
PHL, Japan to hold 8th high-level infrastructure meeting in New Clark City
Duterte vows 5-minute travel between Cubao, Makati
House oversight panel seeks to find solutions to water shortage
DPWH sets early completion date of C-5 South Link
Over $200M Japan loan signed for Mindanao road projects
Govt studies P208-B proposal to build terminal 3 at Mactan-Cebu Intl Airport

Singapore
Singapore financiers look to put region’s infrastructure on track
SMRT, SBS Transit join hands on rail competence
Building resilience against natural disasters among ways Singapore can help Asia grow sustainably: Heng Swee Keat
MPA launches GeoSpace-Sea, a Singapore marine and coastal database
Smart solutions in the pipeline for Singapore's industrial parks
SMRT, SBS Transit to build rail competence together, sign MOU with ST Engineering
Consultancy tenders for Kuala Lumpur – Singapore High Speed Rail

Thailand
Airport 2nd terminal plan on hold
Union wants rail bill scrapped
Thai govt to invest THB 5 bln in internet infrastructure expansion
Thai PM encourages AIIB to fund infrastructure development projects in ASEAN, ACMECS regions
More cross-border bus services urged
6 month free trial for Bang Wa-Tha Chang ferry service, Bangkok
Unlikely engine for Thai economic growth
Chumphon, Ranong rail project stalls
Thailand News: New dual track train line to slash travel time between Bangkok, Hua Hin and southern Thailand
AoT awaits approval for B200bn expansion
High-speed airport rail in EEC moving along
Thailand's $13 Billion Plan Could Woo 65 Million Tourists Yearly
BMA to end city's cable nightmare

Vietnam
Big challenges hinder Việt Nam’s largest infrastructure project
Infrastructure perfection urged to boost investment attractiveness
Vietnam to tender $5bn motorway project in August
Quang Ngai to build $160 mln container port
HCM City looks to EU’s support in urban infrastructure
World Bank offers new credit to develop urban centres
Vietnam becoming safer but road safety still a major concern - VnExpress International
Criteria for investors of North-South Expressway disclosed
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

Duterte seeks more PH flights, shipping routes with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia Manila Bulletin News 24th Jun 2019
In a bid to spur regional trade and investments, President Duterte has called for more flights and shipping routes among the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia as well as increased border security in the sub-region. The President sought improvements in infrastructure connectivity, as well as in maritime security, to combat terrorism and other threats during the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area or BIMP-EAGA summit in Bangkok last Sunday.

China No Match for Japan in Southeast Asia Infrastructure Race Bloomberg.com 23rd Jun 2019
Japan is still winning the Southeast Asia infrastructure race against China, with pending projects worth almost one and a half times its rival, according to the latest data from Fitch Solutions. Japanese-backed projects in the region’s six biggest economies -- Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam -- are valued at $367 billion, the figures show. China’s tally is $255 billion.

Too little, too late for the US around the Mekong? China’s already there South China Morning Post 16th Jun 2019
US officials say Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will “recommit” the United States to supporting the five countries along Southeast Asia’s longest river, the Mekong, when he makes his first duty visit to Bangkok in July. Pompeo has voiced concern that China has tried to “steadily salami-slice its way to control” in the region. Mark Clark, acting deputy assistant secretary for Southeast Asia at the state department, said his boss planned to highlight what had been achieved in the past decade by the US-backed Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI). Pompeo will attend a ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and lead talks on the LMI, which was launched 10 years ago by his predecessor Hillary Clinton to boost cooperation between Washington and Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. But experts warn the American pledge might be too little, too late given China’s entrenched interests in the area. Brian Eyler, director of the Washington-based Stimson Centre’s Southeast Asia programme, said the US had promoted its foreign policy goals in the region largely behind the scenes, despite a push by Mekong nations for “real and tangible” pacts with the US. Beijing has set aside more than US$22 billion under the initiative to support projects ranging from technological connectivity and industrial development to trade, agriculture and poverty alleviation. The Mekong is an essential venue for much of the grand infrastructure envisioned by President Xi Jinping under his ambitious strategy to boost global trade and connectivity with the Belt and Road Initiative. A five-year action plan issued last year said the LMC should work in synergy with the belt and road plan.

‘Youth bulge’ in Asean best draw for financing for infrastructure BusinessMirror 14th Jun 2019
THE young population in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member-countries remains its biggest asset in terms of attracting financing needed to plug the region’s infrastructure constraints like those from the United States. In an Infrastructure forum for Asean journalists at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters on Thursday, US Embassy Counselor for Economic Affairs Lynne Gadkowski said the “youth bulge” in the region ensures the economic growth and presence of various opportunities in the Asean.

Navigating the Belt and Road Initiative Asia Society 11th Jun 2019
The Belt and Road Initiative, estimated to comprise more than USD $1 trillion in Chinese investment, is arguably China's broadest economic engagement effort with the rest of the world — enhancing China’s connectivity through Southeast, South, Central, and West Asia; Africa; South America; and Europe.... ASPI’s new report, Navigating the Belt and Road Initiative integrates international standards, Chinese domestic guidelines, and lessons learned from BRI’s first five years to conceptualize a blueprint for successful projects and to surmount the challenges that BRI projects have faced thus far. The report and a "BRI Matrix" within it offer guidance on the management of BRI projects to improve the likelihood that they yield beneficial and sustainable developmental, economic, environmental, civic, and social outcomes

Brunei

Brunei road on ASEAN Connectivity list Borneo Bulletin Online 14th Jun 2019
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) recently in Jakarta unveiled the list of projects in the Initial Rolling Priority Pipeline of Potential ASEAN Infrastructure Projects (Initial Pipeline) under the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025. According to a press release on the ASEAN Secretariat website, 19 projects have been selected for inclusion in the Initial Pipeline, including one in Brunei Darussalam called ‘Jalan Rasau, Kuala-Belait District Upgrading Roadwork from Single Lane to Dual Carriageways’. The Initial Pipeline projects will complement and strengthen the existing economic and transport corridors by enhancing connectivity and mobilising investments, stated the press release. They form part of the overall infrastructure network necessary to achieve the vision of ASEAN Connectivity.

Cambodia

Japan hands over 80 buses to Phnom Penh Khmer Times 19th Jun 2019
Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng yesterday received 80 public buses from Japan during the inauguration of a bus terminal in Prek Taroth village in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changva district. Mr Sreng said at the event that Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Horinouchi Hidehisa handed over 80 city buses as part of Japan’s aid grant to City Hall.

China denies debt trap diplomacy Khmer Times 17th Jun 2019
In the face of criticism over perceived debt trap diplomacy set by growing Chinese investments, government officials and academics said the term has been used by western countries despite apparent benefits enjoyed by Belt and Road Initiative member countries... Cambodia is one of the staunchest supporters of the BRI. It expects that the initiative will contribute to peace and shared prosperity. According to International Policy Digest, China is Cambodia’s largest economic and political backer.

Cambodia Construction Soars Following 2018 Major Slump Business Times 14th Jun 2019
Following a major drop in the first four months of 2018, Cambodia's construction sector strengthened in the first quarter of this year. Industry experts believe strong figures were driven largely by commercial projects. According to the Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia's investment capital in the construction industry increased by 67.37 percent compared to the same period in 2018, amounting to $2.742 billion in capital funds.

Train service from Bangkok to Thailand-Cambodia border resumes Xinhua 2nd Jul 2019
Train service between Thailand's capital Bangkok to the Baan Khlong Luek station bordering Cambodia started running on Monday. The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) launched the service with four trains per day, two in each direction. Under the agreement, the repaired rail link between Aranyaprathet in Thailand and Poipet in Cambodia reopened on April 22, 46 years after it was closed in a civil war that destroyed Cambodia's railway infrastructure.

Indonesia

Neither BRT nor LRT: Indonesia looks to rail-based bus system for traffic solutions The Jakarta Post 25th Jun 2019
The government is considering introducing a rail-based bus transportation system to help reduce traffic congestion in several major cities across the country. The bus system, known as the O-Bahn, was created in Essen, Germany, and variations of it are currently being used in cities around the world, most notably Adelaide, Australia. Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi recently raised the idea of adopting the O-Bahn busway system as an alternative form of mass transportation in urban areas.

An Asian airline will start testing drones capable of hauling tons of cargo AJOT 24th Jun 2019
Delivering cargo to the furthest reaches of the world’s biggest archipelago has forever been a challenge. Indonesia’s biggest airline sees a solution in drones. PT Garuda Indonesia plans to procure 100 unmanned aerial vehicles from China’s Beihang UAS Technology to ship goods across the nation’s more than 18,000 islands, Director for Cargo and Business Development Mohammad Iqbal said, without disclosing a price. The state-run airline will operate the drones from 30 logistic centers, each with a dedicated airstrip, within five years, he said.

$70 Billion Toll-Road Plan to Connect Indonesia's Sprawl Bloomberg.com 19th Jun 2019
Indonesia President Joko Widodo is planning an unprecedented $70 billion splurge on toll roads to help connect the most strung-out country on the planet. By 2024, Indonesia’s fee-charging highways will stretch for 5,400 kilometers (3,355 miles), almost triple the length of the current network, Danang Parikesit, head of the country’s toll-road regulator, said in an interview.

Indonesia's Jokowi eyes more mass, rapid transport development Kyodo News+ 14th Jun 2019
Standing inside a carriage of the country's first mass rapid transit system, just three months after its inauguration, Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo could not stop smiling Tuesday to see a lot of passengers in the train during the off-peak hours. Inaugurated just a month before the April 17 legislative and presidential elections, the MRT line was then seen as one of would-be victory factors for Jokowi, who in 2012, as then Jakarta governor, revived the plan to build the rapid transit urban line that had been stalled for three decades.

World Bank grants $49.6 million loan for Indonesia’s urban planning program The Jakarta Post 12th Jun 2019
Indonesia has just received a US$49.6 million loan from the World Bank to finance the government’s plan to integrate city planning across the nation. The loan, approved by the World Bank’s board of executive directors on Monday, would be used to finance a government project called the National Urban Development Project (NUDP) to improve city planning and make the country benefit from the positive effects of urbanization. The program will help cities integrate sectoral plans and strategies, including master plans for transportation, housing, economic strategies and environment. In addition, it will strengthen the link between medium-term capital investment, infrastructure prioritization and financing needs.

Democracy shields Indonesia from Belt and Road fallout The Jakarta Post 10th Jun 2019
....Vice President Jusuf Kalla touted 28 projects with a total price tag of US$91 billion to be financed under the BRI when he attended the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in April. The first reactions back home were one of caution and some even advised against the idea lest Indonesia follow countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Malaysia, who are experiencing problems with the Chinese projects. But those expressing reservations ignore two important factors that have spared Indonesia from the fallout of having too much Chinese investment. First, compared to those other countries, Indonesia is much larger and has more leverage in dealing with China. It is the fourth-most populous nation, the seventh-largest economy (based on purchasing power parity), supplies raw materials and agricultural products vital to China and controls sea lanes through which international shipping passes to take goods to and from China... Second, Indonesia is a democracy where free speech is guaranteed, with an elected government that is constantly under public scrutiny and held accountable for all its actions. This also applies to the policy of bringing in foreign investors, including those from China.

More roads, more dams, more power plants for Indonesia The Straits Times 9th Jun 2019
The Trans-Java and Trans-Sumatra highways are expected to be completed during the second term of President Joko Widodo, shortening travelling times and opening up new job opportunities on Indonesia's two main islands. Officials say that the roads are part of the President's buffet of upcoming projects, and just like in his first term, the President will firmly focus on infrastructure works, including more new seaports, airports, dams and power plants to keep the economy humming over the next five years. The 1,150km Trans-Java toll highway will link Merak in the westernmost part of Java to Probolinggo and Banyuwangi in East Java by next year, said Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono.

Govt earmarks Rp50 billion for tourism development in Labuan Bajo Antara News 24th Jun 2019
The Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry has readied a budget of Rp50 billion to construct the Lintas Utara road section to support development of the National Tourism Strategic Area in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai District, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province. Head of West Manggarai District Agustinus Ch Dula stated here on Monday that the budget originated from the 2019 State Budget (APBN).

Ministry of PUPR urges checking old bridges Antara News 18th Jun 2019
The Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) has noted the importance of checking old bridges, in an effort to ensure smooth crossings and prevent the disruption of traffic. Thomas Setiabudi Aden, an official of the ministry in a written statement received on Tuesday, said that the road network in Indonesia has greatly developed due to the increase in infrastructure and land transportation needs in the 1980s and beyond, as many bridges are between 20 to 35 years old.

Ministry facilitates Chinese entrepreneurs to develop infrastructure - ANTARA News Antara News 15th Jun 2019
The Coordinating Maritime Affairs Ministry has facilitated meetings between Chinese and Indonesian delegations in Jakarta on Friday (June 14), during the Indonesian Business Visit and China International Contractors Association (Chinca). The activity was attended by 31 businesspersons, who are representatives of Chinca, and leaders from several companies in the fields of energy, transportation, and infrastructure development, machinery manufacturing, as well as financial institutions...

Economists Call the Increase in Infrastructure Funds the Right Step Katadata 10th Jun 2019
Institute For Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) researcher Bhima Yudhistira assessed that the increased allocation of infrastructure development funds in the State Budget (APBN) was the right step. Significant improvements in infrastructure components greatly affect the economy. "Infrastructure is one of the keys to the economy, because it is related to connectivity and decreasing our logistics costs," Bhima told Katadata, Tuesday (4/6).

The Malaysia-Indonesia bridge is being proposed again. Why’d it fail the last 3 times? CILISOS - Current Issues Tambah Pedas! 1st Jul 2019
...But the most ambitious one of them all, is a plan to build a bridge connecting Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra. This is the Malacca-Dumai bridge – and it would make it a 1-hour trip from Melaka to Indonesia. But the thing we wanna talk about today, is how this project has been scrapped and reproposed for the last 25 years.

Laos

New, shorter road to Luang Prabang now open Bangkok Post 1st Jul 2019
A new sealed road from the Thai border to the Lao province of Luang Prabang has opened to traffic, reducing travel time from Nan province to Luang Prabang from nine to five hours...It is expected to draw 10-20% more visitors to the two Thai and Lao provinces, especially from China, Vietnam and Europe, he said.

Can Laos manage its debt to China? ASEAN Today 20th Jun 2019
Laos’ economy is growing, but without outside assistance, the country cannot compete with its ASEAN neighbours. It turned to China for help. Its participation in the Belt & Road initiative (BRI) will bring a new railway connecting Yunnan province in China with the Laotian capital, Vientiane, as well as Malaysia and Singapore. The 250-mile railway is scheduled to open in 2021. China claims it will turn landlocked Laos into a “landlinked” country. The whole project will cost US$5.8 billion. Laos will only foot the bill for 30% of the project’s funding, with China covering the rest. However, Laos has to put up US$720 million immediately, US$250 million of which will come from the next five years’ budgets.

Thailand, Laos sign agreement on 5th friendship bridge across Mekong River Xinhua 14th Jun 2019
Thailand and Laos on Friday signed an agreement on building the fifth friendship bridge between Thailand's Bueng Kan province and Laos' Bolikhamsai province... Arkhom said Thailand's upper northeastern region, particularly Bueng Kan province, will be connected with Bolikhamsai and nearby provinces via the friendship bridge in the next three years.

China’s belt and road criticised for ‘wasteful’ spending South China Morning Post 12th Jun 2019
China’s massive infrastructure spending in Southeast Asian nations under the Belt and Road Initiative has run into a series of problems including substandard work and money wasted on unprofitable projects, a new report has warned... The report by the Asia Society, a non-profit educational organisation, suggested a series of measures to improve the initiative, including setting up a fund to enable less-developed countries to mitigate risks and launching proper environmental assessments.

When climate action means better roads KPL - Lao News Agency 20th Jun 2019
The European Investment Bank is stepping up its climate adaption projects in developing countries, and that means building roads and infrastructure that can better cope with natural disasters, write Luca Lazzaroli and Léon Faber. Luca Lazzaroli is deputy head of operations at the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg. Léon Faber is EU ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in Vientiane.

Over 60 percent of Tanmixay-Sikeuth road upgrade completed Vientiane Times 20th Jun 2019
The contractor rebuilding the 9.4-km road running from Tanmixay crossroads in Xaythany district to Sikeuth junction in Naxaithong district of Vientiane has confirmed the work will be completed by the end of this year. However, many people living along this road have called on the contractor to speed up the work, saying they are facing difficulties due to its condition. They have also said it will be a problem using the road during the ongoing rainy season.

Laos, Thailand to expand railway into Lao capital Xinhua 2nd Jul 2019
Laos and Thailand have agreed to start Phase II of the construction of the Laos-Thailand railway, which will link the existing suburban station to central Vientiane. The Department of Railways under the Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the project with Thailand's Sermsanguan Construction Co., Ltd on last Friday in Vientiane. The 7.5 km expansion is expected to be completed at the end of 2021, said the Tuesday report.

Thailand, Laos step up transport connectivity vietnamplus.vn 1st Jul 2019
Thailand and Laos have inked an agreement to upgrade a road and extend a railway linking the two countries to foster cross-border economic cooperation.One project involves work on improving the road linking the Phudu border checkpoint in the country’s Uttaradit province with Laos’ Vientiane capital city. The remaining sees the train route from Thailand’s Nong Khai province to Thanaleng in Laos extended to Vientiane.

Malaysia

Sabah ports have potential to compete with Singapore, Philippines — Chief Minister The Edge Markets 27th Jun 2019
Sabah ports have potentials to compete with Singapore and Philippines with the implementation of proper policies as the state is strategically located near countries such as China, Japan and Hong Kong, said chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal. At the same time, he said, there was a need for the logistics of these ports to be improved, including establishing railway lines to connect all the ports in the state.

So what exactly is the Penang Transport Master Plan and how is it being funded? MalayMail 27th Jun 2019
The controversial Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) started out as a concept plan to arrest traffic and transportation issues in Penang back in 2009, just a year after Pakatan Rakyat (now Pakatan Harapan) took over Penang’s administration.... The then-Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng reportedly said the transport master plan will include the construction of better roads and highways, proper traffic management through a one-way street system and Intelligent Transport System.

Baru pledges to develop all roads in Sarawak, despite restrictions Borneo Post Online 22nd Jun 2019
Works Minister Baru Bian has pledged his commitment in developing roads in Sarawak, and working on existing channels to ensure that proper planning and construction would be implemented. He also said his responsibility as a concerned federal minister is limited to federal roads, including those leading to airports and ports, those connecting public education centres and also the toll roads – all under the purview of the Ministry of Works.

Johor planning to build $4.9m covered walkway along Causeway The Straits Times 19th Jun 2019
Johor is looking to build a 1.2km walkway on the Causeway for those travelling between the state and Singapore. Johor Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee chairman Mohd Solihan Badri said this came about after the state government found out that many people are risking their lives crossing the link without such an infrastructure to ensure their safety. This is especially prevalent during peak hours, when people rush across, to avoid being stuck in traffic congestion.

Railway project draws huge interest from Malaysian construction companies Xinhua 12th Jun 2019
Over 1,000 Malaysian construction companies are eyeing the 40 percent civil works portion of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project following an exercise to identify subcontractors, ECRL project owner Malaysia Rail Link (MRL) said on Wednesday. A total of 1,321 companies registered with the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) had made submissions to prime ECRL contractor China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) over the two-day exercise in May, MRL said in a statement.

Japan to invest further in Malaysia's infrastructure assets NST Online 11th Jun 2019
Japan government is keen to invest more in Malaysia, following its maiden investment here in Tasco-Yusen Gold Cold Sdn Bhd (TYGC), a unit of Tasco Bhd, which is listed on Bursa Malaysia. Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN) managing executive officer Noriyoshi Torigoe said: "This is our first investment in Malaysia upon the invitation of Yusen Logistics. It's a kickoff to many more, in view of the good relations between Japan and Malaysia."

PDP model for Pan Borneo Highway in Sarawak to be announced soon New Straits Times 8th Jun 2019
The federal Cabinet will reveal its decision on the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) model for the multi-billion ringgit Pan Borneo Highway in Sarawak soon. Works Minister Baru Bian said the project implementation model for the highway in Sabah was abolished, and handed over to the state government in April to ensure a smoother process and cost savings. However, Cabinet has yet to make a decision on the 1,077km stretch of the highway in Sarawak. Baru also said that his ministry is committed to ensuring that the Sarawak-Sabah link road and several spur roads in the interiors of Miri, Lawas and Limbang will be realised soon.

Malaysia to spend RM45b on development projects New Straits Times 1st Jul 2019
Malaysia is expected to spend a total of RM45 billion on more than 4,000 development projects this year to ensure sustained economic growth. Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the expenditure would be spent following the resumption of several large-scale projects. “Malaysia is heading towards a new era of development and growth. These measures will be our growth drivers for this year and the next. “I am confident that the nation will be able to step proudly into the future boldly, progressively and with harmony and stability,” Azmin said in a keynote address at the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025) Kick-Off Conference and the launch of the 20th Malaysia Economic Monitor here today.

Malaysian company managing High-Speed Rail project appoints consultants to review design, cut cost CNA 28th Jun 2019
The Malaysian company managing the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project announced on Friday (Jun 28) that it has appointed technical and commercial consultants to review proposed design changes and identify options to cut cost. In a statement, MyHSR Corp said that Malaysian engineering and project management firm, Minconsult and Ernst & Young have been appointed the Technical Advisory Consultant (TAC) and Commercial Advisory Consultant (CAC) respectively. “MyHSR Corp and its TAC and CAC will now proceed to review the proposed changes to the KL-Singapore HSR Project and further identify cost reduction options for the government of Malaysia,” said the statement.

Finance Ministry must be transparent in stating cost for four highways The Star Online 25th Jun 2019
Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Jalaluddin Alias said this was necessary as he did not see the proposed takeover of the highways for RM6.2bil as a strategic move. "The rakyat needs to know the cost to take over each highway and how would this benefit them, especially those in the B40 group," he said in a statement. The Jelebu MP said he saw no necessity of taking over the highways at this point in time. Citing examples, he said the concession agreement for the Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas) will expire in Aug 2023 and the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) in 2030.

Govt plans nationwide port expansion New Straits Times 18th Jun 2019
The government is planning to expand port areas nationwide to meet current and future demands, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke. He said this would require a long-term strategy, not only to meet the demands for capacity but to also provide a healthy competition with neighbouring countries which have been constructing bigger ports. Loke said the government was well aware of the need to expand, develop and upgrade the ports, including the Port of Tanjung Pelepas. “This will take years as it involves a lot of work in terms of getting approvals, among others, but we need to make the effort and expedite the process.

Over 1,000 local firms apply for ECRL civil works The Malaysian Reserve 13th Jun 2019
THE East Coast Rail Link’s (ECRL) main contractor, China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), has received a total of 1,321 applications from local construction firms for the 40% civil works portion of the project. In a joint statement with CCCC yesterday, the RM44 billion project owner, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL), said the submissions from Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB)-registered companies were received during the pre-qualification (Pre-Q) exercise to identify potential subcontractors on May 29 and 30.

Sarawak to continue business-friendly policies to attract foreign investments Free Malaysia Today 10th Jun 2019
Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg today pledged that the state would continue its business-friendly policies and create a more conducive environment to attract more high-value and high-tech investments. He said he is confident that an increase in public spending over the next two years to build both physical and digital infrastructure would see Sarawak’s economic growth hit about 6%.

Myanmar

Yangon builds eight wharfs within three-year time Eleven Media Group Co., Ltd 20th Jun 2019
Authorities built eight new wharfs in Yangon within three-year time and the cargo handling process is being carried out with 41 wharfs, according to Myanma Port Authority (MPA). Myanmar coast has 1,385 miles in length and nine ports are built along the coastal area. Yangon port is a major port and handling more than 90 per cent of international maritime trade.

Centre promises to operate buses between Mizoram & Myanmar EastMojo 20th Jun 2019
The Centre has promised to take measures for operation of buses between Mizoram and Myanmar, state transport minister TJ Lalnuntluanga informed the Assembly on Wednesday. Replying to a query from V L Zaithanzama of opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), Lalnuntluanga said the state government has proposed to introduce a bus service to connect Champhai town with Tahan in Myanmar.

Rail connectivity in the North-east The Statesman 17th Jun 2019
Nagaland’s first ever railway tunnel was dug on 7 June at the outskirts of Chumukedima, about 15 km from Dimapur town. The 82.3-km rail line from Dimapur to Kohima will run through Dhansiri-Dhansiripar-Shoxuvi-Molvom- Khaibong-Chephema-Khabvuma-Zubza at 900 m above sea level. The line will have 20 tunnels spanning 26 km besides 19 major bridges and is under the broad gauge railway project to be executed in three phases.

Bus service to Mandalay from Imphal to start soon The Times of India 12th Jun 2019
Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Tuesday said the formalities for starting a bus service between Imphal and Mandalay, the second largest city of neighbouring Myanmar, are at the final stages. Efforts are also on to extend rail and air link from the north eastern state of Manipur to Myanmar, Singh said at a conference on Act East Policy in which delegates of the neighbouring country were also present.

Yangon to reallocate K16 billion for public development The Myanmar Times 24th Jun 2019
“We will not spend the K16 billion on building a court complex, a regional police headquarters, and buying a ship as originally planned,” regional Planning and Finance Minister Myint Thaung told the parliament. The regional government reallocated the funds after facing strong criticism from members of parliament last week. U Myint Thaung said that the money will instead be used for road development and electricity supply projects under capital expenditures for fiscal 2019-2020.  The Yangon government originally planned to build a criminal court complex in Insein township that would have cost over K15 billion. For the project, Yangon had appropriated K6 billion in the 2019-2020 budget year.

Yangon Govt Drops $10 Million Spending Proposals The Irrawaddy 18th Jun 2019
The Yangon regional government has withdrawn its planned spending of 16 billion kyats (US$10.45 million) for construction projects and the purchase of a ferry for an Andaman Sea island after a heated debate between lawmakers and the Yangon government. Yangon Region Planning and Finance Minister U Myint Thaung on Tuesday asked the parliament to approve the regional government’s removal of proposals for the construction of a new police headquarters and courthouse, and the purchase of a ship to shuttle between Yangon and Coco Island in the Andaman Sea from its 2019-2020 proposed budget.

Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar-Economic corridor project not abandoned, says China ThePrint 10th Jun 2019
China on Monday denied that it has dropped the BCIM economic corridor from its multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as the project made little progress in view of the differences between India and China over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar-Economic Corridor (BCIM) which has been previously mentioned as part of the BRI when it was launched in 2013, did not figure in the list of 35 corridors mentioned during the 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF) held here in April. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang told media briefing here on Monday that the BCIM has not been abandoned. It is very much on board.”

Myanmar's parliament approves signing as observer in BRI-related mechanism - China.org.cn Xinhua 9th Jun 2019
Myanmar's Union Parliament has approved a proposal for the country's signing as an observer in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) tax administration cooperation mechanism. The approval was made at Friday's session of the parliament following a debate on the proposal for the signing. Parliament member Dr. Khun Win Thaung hoped that Myanmar's participation in the mechanism can promote the tax management capacity of the country through working together with other countries included in the project.

Three locations identified for China-Myanmar Economic Corridor The Myanmar Times 7th Jun 2019
U Khin Maung Lwin, deputy secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, told the Myanmar Times that the country’s central committee for the Border Economic Cooperation Zone (BECZ), which met recently, decided on the areas for the core zones at Muse and Chin Shwe Haw in the northern part of Shan State and Kan Pite Tee in Kachin State. He said the ministry would initiate a call for applications for expressions of interest (EOI) soon, adding that for the agreed upon Muse core zone, an export product manufacturing processing and warehouse area would be located at Panghsang (KyuKoke)-Wantain-Nwan Yin (Kyin San Kyawt)-Mantman (Shweli) while an import processing and warehouse area would be located at Salant (Manhiro)-Salin and Namkhang-Naungtaung. 

Myanmar and Lao to get infrastructure boost The ASEAN Post 14th Jun 2019
Myanmar and Lao PDR look to be the biggest winners of an ASEAN plan to boost connectivity with a series of infrastructure projects. The regional bloc unveiled a list of 19 projects in the Initial Rolling Priority Pipeline of Potential ASEAN Infrastructure Projects (Initial Pipeline) on Monday, one of the initiatives under the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025.

Philippines

Infrastructure projects accelerated Manila Bulletin News 1st Jul 2019
The Duterte administration on Monday signaled a determined push to accelerate its massive infrastructure program to be accomplished, or at least partially, by 2022, to address the worsening mobil­ity in Metro Manila and direct developments into the regions.

PH invests in infrastructure to lure businesses amid U.S.-China trade war Rappler 1st Jul 2019
The Philippine government is tidying up and making the country more enticing for businesses seeking to relocate operations and escape the bitter trade war of the United States and China. The Philippines is spending almost a trillion pesos for infrastructure in 2019 alone and will continue to spend even more in the coming years to attract investments.

Hitting the infrastructure halfway mark Business World 25th Jun 2019
Time is of the essence for the rollout of infrastructure projects as President Rodrigo R. Duterte hits the halfway mark into his six-year term that ends in 2022. As soon as he assumed office in 2016, the government introduced the “Build, Build, Build” program, which aims to reduce the infrastructure gap in the country.

Japan commits 1.3 trillion yen to help build railways in PH Inquirer.Net 21st Jun 2019
The Japanese government through its aid arm Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) has pledged to lend 1.3 trillion yen (about P620 billion) to the Philippines to build more railways and ease traffic congestion...In a statement, Jica said the following projects were now using Jica financing: Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 Cavite Extension; LRT Line 2 East Extension; Metro Manila Subway; Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 Rehabilitation; and North-South Commuter Railway.

Vivant eyes water, infrastructure projects in Cebu Rappler 21st Jun 2019
Aside from energy, Cebu-based company Vivant Corporation will venture into water treatment engineering and transport infrastructure projects that would “help solve the water and traffic problems in Metro Cebu.”... Vivant plans to help decongest the traffic situation in Metro Cebu by putting tollways in place.

PHL, Japan to hold 8th high-level infrastructure meeting in New Clark City BusinessMirror 10th Jun 2019
Officials from the Philippines and Japan would meet again this month for a high-level discussion on the progress of Japan-funded infrastructure projects under the government’s “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program and other areas of economic cooperation between Manila and Tokyo. The 8th Japan-Philippines Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation scheduled on June 18 will be held at the New Clark City in Pampanga, the Department of Finance said on Sunday.

Duterte vows 5-minute travel between Cubao, Makati philstar.com 9th Jun 2019
President Duterte vowed to work on cutting the travel time along EDSA, particularly between Cubao and Makati, from over one hour to only five minutes by the end of the year... Duterte said it was good he went to China to attend the Belt and Road Forum, where he talked with Chinese President Xi Jinping on infrastructure projects under the government’s Build Build Build program. The Department of Public Works and Highways earlier said that major infrastructure projects are underway to help decongest traffic in the metropolis, among them the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 (MMSS3) and North and South Luzon Expressways connector road project. The MMSS3 viaduct will connect the two expressways and is projected to decongest EDSA and other main roads by as many as 50,000 cars.

House oversight panel seeks to find solutions to water shortage BusinessMirror 24th Jun 2019
The leadership of the House of Representatives will open on Tuesday an oversight hearing to look into the impending water shortage as Angat Dam in Bulacan reaches critical level. Last week Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called for an oversight hearing on the water shortage on Tuesday, before new members of the House of Representatives begin their term of office. Invited to the hearing are officials from the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage Systems (MWSS), National Water Resources Bureau, Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), National Irrigation Authority, Departments of Agriculture, Budget and Management, Environment and Natural Resources and Public Works and Highways, the National Economic and Development Authority and water concessionaires Manila Water Co. Inc. (MWCI), and the Maynilad Water Services Inc. (MWSI).

DPWH sets early completion date of C-5 South Link BusinessMirror 21st Jun 2019
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said on Thursday it plans to complete the whole C-5 South Link earlier than the original target completion date with partial operations set to start next month. DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar said the Metro Pacific Tollways South Corp. (MPT South), through Cavitex Infrastructure Corp., is implementing a 24/7 work schedule to complete the full alignment of 7.7 kilometers by 2021.

Over $200M Japan loan signed for Mindanao road projects Business World 19th Jun 2019
THE Philippines signed a $202.04 million loan agreement with Japan to fund the Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao late Tuesday. “This involves the construction, rehabilitation and improvement of 176.6-kilometers of road, linking of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to the trade centers of Mindanao,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a briefing to announce the signing at the Clark economic zone. The project involves the construction of access roads including the 19.8-kilometer Marawi Ring Road and the 23-kilometer the Marawi Trans-Central Road.

Govt studies P208-B proposal to build terminal 3 at Mactan-Cebu Intl Airport BusinessMirror 17th Jun 2019
An unsolicited Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 3 project is now being evaluated by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), according to GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. In a briefing in Cebu, GMR Chief Executive Adviser Andrew Acquaah-Harrison said the P208-billion extension involves the construction of a third terminal for the airport along with two runways and aircraft maintenance hangar.

Singapore

Singapore financiers look to put region’s infrastructure on track Financial Times 27th Jun 2019
Singapore’s Changi airport reinforced its reputation as one of the world’s best airports in April when it opened Jewel, a shopping centre-cum-botanic garden with a 40-metre waterfall — the tallest such indoor feature in the world. Ever restless, the city state is planning a fifth airport terminal, due to open in 2030, bolstering Changi’s image as a global showcase for Singapore’s ability to deliver urban infrastructure for the 21st century.

SMRT, SBS Transit join hands on rail competence The Straits Times 18th Jun 2019
In a move which will see Singapore's two rail operators working formally together for the first time, SMRT and SBS Transit signed a collaboration memorandum of understanding (MOU) with defence and engineering group ST Engineering yesterday. Under the MOU, the three parties will share engineering knowledge and capabilities in various areas to add depth and breadth to their maintenance and engineering expertise.

Building resilience against natural disasters among ways Singapore can help Asia grow sustainably: Heng Swee Keat CNA 12th Jun 2019
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is currently developing the market for insurance-linked securities (ILS) as an alternative risk-financing solution, said Acting Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Wednesday. This can help strengthen Asia’s resiliency against natural catastrophes – one of the three broad ways Singapore can contribute to sustainable growth in the region, according to Mr Heng. The other two ways include bridging partnerships for regional infrastructure development opportunities through Singapore’s Infrastructure Asia initiative, and promoting sustainable economic growth by growing its sustainable finance sector.

MPA launches GeoSpace-Sea, a Singapore marine and coastal database The Straits Times 28th Jun 2019
A new database on Singapore's waters, from its coastlines to the seabed, was launched on Friday (June 28) by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). Dubbed GeoSpace-Sea, it aims to provide comprehensive geospatial data for port and coastal planning, among other things, as well as environmental management.

Smart solutions in the pipeline for Singapore's industrial parks The Straits Times 27th Jun 2019
Eight technology firms have been awarded a total of $1.5 million to use digital means to help manage buildings and amenities in six industrial parks in Singapore. This is part of Singapore's drive to support the use of technology in building, maintaining and managing the country's urban centres, said Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran at the opening of an annual technology conference on Thursday (June 27).

SMRT, SBS Transit to build rail competence together, sign MOU with ST Engineering The Straits Times 17th Jun 2019
In a move which will see Singapore's two rail operators working formally together for the first time, SMRT and SBS Transit (SBST) signed a collaboration memorandum of understanding with defence and engineering group ST Engineering on Monday (June 17). At a signing ceremony at the Land Transport Authority's premises in Hampshire Road, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the MOU was "one small step" in Singapore's strategy "to grow our rail industry".

Consultancy tenders for Kuala Lumpur – Singapore High Speed Rail Global Railway Review 2nd Jul 2019
MyHSR Corporation Sdn Bhd (MyHSR Corp) has successfully completed two separate open tender exercises to appoint its Technical Advisory Consultant (TAC) and Commercial Advisory Consultant (CAC) for the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore High Speed Rail (KL-SG HSR) project. Upon careful evaluation and completion of the tender process, MyHSR Corp has appointed Minconsult Sdn Bhd and Ernst & Young (EY) as the TAC and CAC respectively.

Thailand

Airport 2nd terminal plan on hold Bangkok Post 26th Jun 2019
The Transport Ministry has stalled Airports of Thailand Plc's (AoT) plan to build Suvarnabhumi airport's 42-billion-baht second terminal, saying the scheme fails to take into consideration all related infrastructure projects.

Union wants rail bill scrapped Bangkok Post 26th Jun 2019
The Railway Workers' Confederation (RWC) has slammed a draft rail transport bill which it says could make it possible for the privatisation of state rail services and infrastructure. RWC president, Suwit Sumanon, said it paves the way for the Department of Rail Transport (DRT), which was established in April this year, to act as the operator of rail services, in addition to overseeing the entire operations.

Thai govt to invest THB 5 bln in internet infrastructure expansion Telecompaper 26th Jun 2019
Thailand's Digital Economy and Society Ministry plans to invest THB 5 billion (approximately USD 162.7 million) for the upgrade and development of the country’s internet infrastructure. The government awarded the contract for this project to state-owned operator CAT Telecom.

Thai PM encourages AIIB to fund infrastructure development projects in ASEAN, ACMECS regions Xinhua 21st Jun 2019
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha encouraged the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to become a partner in infrastructure development projects in ASEAN and ACMECS (Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy) regions, a government spokesman said here on Friday.

More cross-border bus services urged Bangkok Post 20th Jun 2019
The Transport Ministry has urged bus operators to set up routes across borders from Thailand to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, known as the CLMV countries, due to their highly lucrative business potential.

6 month free trial for Bang Wa-Tha Chang ferry service, Bangkok The Thaiger 17th Jun 2019
A new route has been launched today between Bang Wa (Khlong Phasi Charoen) and Tha Chang (Chao Phraya River). The route has been announced by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and the Marine Department for a 6 month trial.

Unlikely engine for Thai economic growth Asia Times 11th Jun 2019
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT), the kingdom’s most indebted and hidebound state enterprise, is in expansion mode. The outgoing military government recently gave SRT the green light to hire over 1,900 new staff, marking the first the loss-making enterprise has recruited new full-time employees in over two decades. The hiring spree comes as Thailand ramps up infrastructure spending on new trains, a key driver of fiscal-led economic growth as the country’s main export engine starts to sputter due to the US-China trade war.

Chumphon, Ranong rail project stalls Bangkok Post 10th Jun 2019
The Comptroller General’s Department has put the double-track rail project from Chumphon to Ranong on hold due to concerns about its economic viability, according to a source at the State Railway of Thailand (SRT). The 40-billion-baht project was originally driven by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, who envisaged the rail development linking the Gulf of Thailand to the Andaman Sea in a boost to the Southern Economic Corridor scheme.

Thailand News: New dual track train line to slash travel time between Bangkok, Hua Hin and southern Thailand ThaiVisa News 10th Jun 2019
The new line, which is currently under construction and will replace the existing single track line, will be a boon for business, tourism and will help to reduce travel time for passengers, SRT acting governor Worawut Mala told the media this weekend. Once all phases are completed, the new dual track will enable passengers to travel from the new Bang Sue station in Bangkok to destinations such as Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Bang Saphan Noi, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Songkhla and then onto Padang Besar on the Malaysian border. Trains will travel at 160 km/h, meaning passengers leaving Bangkok can be in Hua Hin in just two or three hours, Mr Worawut said, adding that it can often take the best part of four to five hours to complete the same journey by car.

AoT awaits approval for B200bn expansion Bangkok Post 24th Jun 2019
Airports of Thailand Plc will seek approval from the new government for planned developments costed at 200 billion baht, AoT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said on Monday. New airports are proposed for Phuket and Chiang Mai, a new terminal at Suvarnabhumi airport and the expansion of Don Mueang airport. Another key project is taking over the airports in Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon, Tak and Chumphon provinces from the Airports Department.

High-speed airport rail in EEC moving along Bangkok Post 24th Jun 2019
The high-speed rail project linking Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-tapao airports is moving ahead, with the environmental impact assessment (EIA) scheduled to go before the National Environmental Policy Committee for approval on Monday. According to Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the Eastern Economic Corridor Office, the EIA for the 225-billion-baht high-speed rail project linking the three airports passed vetting by the subcommittee on the environment on June 7.

Thailand's $13 Billion Plan Could Woo 65 Million Tourists Yearly Bloomberg.com 20th Jun 2019
Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy plans to pour about $13 billion into expanding airport capacity and connecting major terminals with high-speed railways. As a result, foreign tourist numbers could jump more than 60% by 2029 to about the size of the U.K. population, projections from The World Travel & Tourism Council show.

BMA to end city's cable nightmare Bangkok Post 19th Jun 2019
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has kicked off a 20-billion-baht project to move all overhead telecom and broadcast cables in the capital underground in two years, with a network of pipelines to be built underneath the entire 2,450 kilometres of roads in the city. Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang on Tuesday presided over the signing of a memorandum of cooperation on the project between the BMA and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission.

Vietnam

Big challenges hinder Việt Nam’s largest infrastructure project vietnamnews.vn 27th Jun 2019
The Hà Nội-HCM City high speed rail project will benefit the country’s economy, but there are several challenges to implementation of the mega project, including financing, attracting private sector interest and a weak business case.

Infrastructure perfection urged to boost investment attractiveness vietnamplus.vn 26th Jun 2019
Vietnam needs to swiftly perfect its infrastructure to meet growing development requirements as well as foreign investors’ demand, especially when it is expected to become the most attractive investment destination in the region, heard a forum in Hanoi on June 26. The country will need over 600 billion USD to achieve infrastructure goals by 2040. While the budget is not enough to meet this development demand, destinations for long-term and stable investment worth trillions of USD around the world are still being sought.

Vietnam to tender $5bn motorway project in August Global Construction Review 20th Jun 2019
The Vietnamese Ministry of Transportation has announced plans to tender a $5bn motorway that will run through 13 provinces from Nam Dịnh, about 60km south of Hanoi, to the southern province of Vinh Long in the Mekong Delta.

Quang Ngai to build $160 mln container port VnExpress International 18th Jun 2019
The port, to be built in the Dung Quat Economic Zone, will have a cargo throughput of between 5-6 million tons a year, according to the provincial People’s Committee. The port concentrates on activities such as oil refining, petrochemical, chemical, and other large-scale heavy industries.

HCM City looks to EU’s support in urban infrastructure vietnamplus.vn 14th Jun 2019
Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong on June 14 asked the European Union (EU) partners to help the city develop urban infrastructure, especially railway routes and Ben Thanh underground shopping centre... As for the metro line No.2 project, Phong proposed the European Commission extend time for financial assistance reception to conduct feasibility studies for the project and adjust several terms in financial aid package to better suit construction progress and Vietnamese law.

World Bank offers new credit to develop urban centres vietnamnews.vn 13th Jun 2019
The World Bank (WB) Board of Executive Directors yesterday approved a US$194.36 million credit plan to help four secondary cities in Việt Nam build critically-needed municipal infrastructure and strengthen urban planning. The Dynamic Cities Integrated Development Project aims to increase access to improved urban services in Kỳ Anh in Hà Tĩnh Province, Tĩnh Gia in Thanh Hóa Province, Hải Dương in Hải Dương Province and Yên Bái in Yên Bái Province.

Vietnam becoming safer but road safety still a major concern - VnExpress International VnExpress International – Latest news, business, travel and analysis from Vietnam 13th Jun 2019
The country has risen by six places to 70th in Underwriters Laboratories' 2019 UL Safety Index. The ranking measured the safety environment in 187 countries and territories based on 17 indicators grouped in three criteria: resources and institutions, safety frameworks and safety outcomes.... Road accidents remain the biggest single cause of deaths in the country even as it works hard to make roads safer. Traffic congestion, inadequate enforcement of the law, poor driving skills, and bad street conditions are the main reasons for road crashes.

Criteria for investors of North-South Expressway disclosed VietNamNet 2nd Jul 2019
The investors selected to develop the North-South Expressway will have to have successfully developed at least one similar project in an overseas market. As of now, there are 120 dossiers submitted to the Ministry of Transport proposing to develop eight subprojects as part of the big-ticket the North-South Expressway project, under the public-private partnership (PPP) format, including 26 foreign investors and 14 domestic investors from South Korea, France, UK, Hong Kong, and China. According to Nguyen Dang Truong, head of the Public Procurement Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, both foreign and domestic investors are welcome to develop these projects in case they comply with the procurement regulation and have enough financial potential and experience. Bidders will be put on the shortlist if they meet at least 60 per cent of the requirements. Financial capacity accounts for 60 per cent of the overall score, while experience and execution methods make up 30 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively. The North-South Expressway will cover 2,109 kilometres in total, stretching from the northern province of Lang Son to the southernmost province of Ca Mau.