Thailand and China have reached broad consensus during their seventh meeting of Joint Committee on Railway Cooperation.
Many issues, including feasibility study, detailed route design, engineering, procurement and construction, and financing have been discussed during the two-day talks which ended on Saturday here in Bangkok, sources from the Chinese embassy in Thailand said.
The meeting was co-hosted by Chinese chief negotiator Wang Xiaotao and Thai Minister of Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.
The Thai side spoke highly of the feasibility study report of the first phase of the project, presented by the Chinese side on Aug. 31. The two sides agreed that a report on the second phase of the project will be submitted on Oct. 15.
The two sides have also reached consensus on their intergovernmental railway cooperation framework, which is expected to be signed during the next meeting of joint committee, to be held in Beijing on Oct. 28-29.
In addition, Thailand and China decided to push for the early drafting of the memorandum and shareholder agreement of the joint venture scheme on part of infrastructure, which will cover issues including electricity supply, telecom and signaling systems.
The two sides vowed to continue their joint efforts in pushing forward related work to meet the target of starting the construction of the first phase of the railway project by the end of the year.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan- ocha last year signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on jointly developing a medium-speed railway system that connects northeast Thailand's Nong Khai province, the capital of Bangkok and the eastern Rayong province.