Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said today that he is open to all, including divergent opinions about the major land bridge project in southern Thailand and is expecting to meet with supporters and opponents during his second mobile cabinet meeting in Ranong province tomorrow.
The land bridge is a significant government logistics project, aimed at facilitating the transport of cargo, including oil, from Thailand’s west coast, in Ranong province, to its east coast, in Chumphon province, via a motorway, pipeline and rail system, enabling shippers to bypass the busy maritime choke point in the Strait of Malacca.
The prime minister said that the government is ready to explain the details and importance of the project to those who oppose it, for fear that it may cause environmental problems and threaten their livelihoods or fishing grounds, adding that his visit to Ranong is an indication that the government attaches importance to the local people and to their opinions.
The private sector in the province is, however, supportive of the project, expecting that it will boost the local economy.
Previously, a House committee considering the land bridge project has visited Ranong to conduct a public hearing about the project.
During his attendance at the Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last week, the prime minister met with several potential investors, to promote the land bridge project and to try to convince them to invest.