Thailand: Buying high-speed rail with rice

Discussion in 'China & Far East' started by ChineseTiger1986, Oct 11, 2013.

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  1. S10
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    S10 SENIOR MEMBER

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    While I like Basmati rice, most Chinese people that tried it seemed to dislike it. I don't know if it has a market.
  2. cirr
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    cirr SENIOR MEMBER

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    China is set to play a major major major role in this round of infrastructure spending in Thailand。:):tup:

    Fast train coming

    Oct 12th 2013, 9:45 by T.J. | BANGKOK

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    IN THE grand concourse of Bangkok’s main train station, Hua Lamphong, the future is on display. Hulking billboards announce the impending arrival of high-speed trains and an age of international connectedness. For those who happen not to pass through the capital, a two-month road show called “Building the Thai Future 2020” is touring the provinces to keep people abreast of the government’s plans for the country’s railways and other infrastructure.

    In the past 20 years, train passenger numbers have collapsed from 88m per year to 46m. The government, it would seem, is no longer willing to tolerate the slide.

    The big idea is to spend 2 trillion baht ($64 billion) by 2020 towards upgrading the country’s creaking infrastructure. Another 3 trillion baht will come due as interest on the loans, accumulating over the next 50 years. It aims to fulfil a favourite dream of Thailand’s political class: To make the country the keystone of mainland South-East Asia. (WikiLeaks reveals that in 1973 Thai mandarins joined Edward Teller, an American nuclear nut, in the fantasy of using Hiroshima-sized bombs to blast a canal from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean.) The “Future 2020” plan will be the first state-led push to build anything on a truly grand scale since the crash of 1997, which ended a monumental construction boom.

    This will also be a stimulus programme, so large as to trigger labour migration. The new works should create 500,000 jobs—more than there are unemployed people in Thailand, the only country in Asia that enjoys an effective rate of full employment. The timing is convenient for the government, even if there are already jobs aplenty. Elections must be held by 2015 and a pot of off-budget spending worth nearly one-fifth of the country’s GDP is a nice thing for the politicians to have handy, just when well-placed allies and voters need reassurance that their loyalty is appreciated.

    Yingluck Shinawatra, the prime minister, has embarked on a mission to raise the cash. A fortnight ago parliament passed a bill that permits the government to take on off-budget debt equivalent to the combined annual economic output of Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

    The centrepiece of the spending plan is a network of high-speed railway lines to connect the country’s four main regions with Bangkok. (Smaller dollops of cash are to be earmarked for roads and ports.) Two of the lines are part of a broader plan to link China’s Yunnan province with Singapore. One of these runs right through Thailand’s north-east, which is the political base of Ms Yingluck’s family; the other connects the capital with Thailand’s second city, Chiang Mai, which is their actual hometown. The economic rationale is to cut transport costs everywhere, bearing in mind that almost twice as many Thais live in the countryside as in the cities; Thailand is still among the least urbanised countries in Asia. Another objective of the beefed-up rail network is to keep migrant workers in the cities connected to their roots.

    The Democrat Party, at the head of the opposition, agrees with the general thrust of the bill—but not with its financing. The Democrats have come up with their own 2 trillion baht plan, which would use the annual budget (rather than emergency legislation) for less-costly trains and then leave money in the pot for education, health and irrigation. Korn Chatikavanij, an opposition politician and former finance minister, says the government’s bill violates “the main tenets of fiscal prudence”. He says his party will contest it in the constitutional court before it is sent to the palace for royal endorsement.

    This call for fiscal prudence is not what the opposition needs if it is to change the electoral map in its favour. As it stands, districts are heavily tilted towards the Pheu Thai party, the third incarnation of a party founded by Ms Yingluck’s exiled brother. The close relationship between the Thai state and rural Thailand—where Ms Yingluck’s family has its base—owes more to generosity than to prudence.

    Largesse and the culture of easy credit are what worry the Bank of Thailand, the central bank, and many other economists too. According to Standard Chartered, a private bank, household borrowing as a share of national income now stands at 68% of Thailand’s GDP, much higher than in bigger Asian countries, such as China (20%), India (18%) and Indonesia (17%).

    But the spending bill is not likely to create either a monstrous level of public debt or a household-debt problem. The public debt, at 45% of Thailand’s GDP, is still very low. And unlike most Asian countries, Thailand has a vast stock of assets—land and property—against which people can borrow. And so looking at rising debt-to-income ratios, as everyone in the debate appears to be doing, is to miss an important part of the story. Robert Townsend, an economist at MIT, runs the Townsend Thai Project, the largest and longest-running survey of households in the developing world. He reckons that average debt-to-asset ratios in rural Thailand are relatively low and have actually been falling since 2006.

    The case against the infrastructure plan, which everyone agrees is needed in principle, starts not with debt but with corruption. Thailand’s government agencies are notorious for their procurement contracts’ lack of transparency. The slipshod State Railway of Thailand, which was founded by King Rama V as a non-profit entity (and anyway run in a manner that precludes the possibility of turning a profit), is supposed to handle more than a trillion of the baht to be raised.

    China has been looking for reassurances from Ms Yingluck’s government that Thailand’s future really can be expected to pull into the station by 2020. That is when China plans to connect Vientiane, the capital of Laos, to Thailand. In the meantime China plans to sink $6.2 billion into a passenger and freight railway that will run from Kunming to Vientiane, tunnelling through 196km of mountains to get there. A Swiss man based in Vientiane remarks that in his country a project on this scale would be called a Jahrhundertprojekt, “a project of the century”. China’s clock however, runs faster: they are giving it five years.

    On October 12th Ms Yingluck and Li Keqiang (pictured facing one another, at the left), the prime minister of China, stood together at a press event, to gaze at a model train and then into the future of high-speed railway magic—on a large screen, in Bangkok.

    Infrastructure spending in Thailand: Fast train coming | The Economist
  3. Contrarian
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    Contrarian BANNED

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    Im fairly certain mate.
    GoI was under public pressure since way back in 1991 - when our economy was liberalized - to keep foreign companies out of the agriculture sector because there was fear that they may come in and wipe out the local farmers.

    So even Non Resident Indians/Overseas Citizens of India cannot buy Agricultural land in India. Its strictly for Residents of India.

    Foreign companies can now however buy the food produce directly from the farmers instead of going through the 'mandi'/marketplace which is a requirement by law for others. This reduces the fluctuations of market price later on.

    So now, there is an increasing trend of contract farming. The foreign companies tie up with local farmers in advance for procurement of any amount of produce they make. Its a contract. But the foreign companies are not allowed to farm themselves. This is to ensure food security of India by making sure that food production stays in Indian hands. Maybe your family's company uses this method to buy rice in India.

    In Pakistan however, Arab countries own farms directly. They can ship whatever they produce over there back to their country.

    No.
    Relax mate.
    You would be happy to know that Bangladeshi and Indian companies have both started buying land and farming in Africa. Food produced over there is shipped back or exported further earning profit for Bangladesh and India.
  4. cnleio
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    cnleio SENIOR MEMBER

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    High-speed railway will connect Southeast Asian Nations with China, Thailand and Malaysia r important parnters for China.

    BYEBYE to Vietnam, this economic artery no any business to VN. U r not our friend, CLEAR ?
    :omghaha:
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  5. Viet
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    Viet SENIOR MEMBER

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    cnleio, my Chinese friend...you should know a 400-km-long highway connecting China and Vietnam has been in operation this year.
    Transnational highway to boost China-Vietnam tourism - People's Daily Online

    as for highspeed train in VN, it is still under discussion, cost is the major concern (20-50 billion USD).
    Vietnam abandons Shinkansen technology for slower railway - AJW by The Asahi Shimbun

    as for Thai rice, I wonder how much you pay for a ton? The Thais are desperate to sell their rice on the free market. One should know, to increase farmers income, Thai government buys $750/ton and suffers huge losses because market price is much lower ($400/ton). I hear you want to buy 1 million ton a year, don´t you?

    How much are you willing to pay a premium for the friendship?

    as for your remark of friendship, I wonder who is your friend in the region? History shows the Thais never are loyal to anybody in the long term, they tend to change friend and foe as they please.
  6. cnleio
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    cnleio SENIOR MEMBER

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    Ur ppl can continue to discuss, at least it's not the most need for China. But the cost of Japan highway technology is much higher and China's cheaper. If Vietnamese choose China high-speed railway and building loans, our workers/engineers/company will flood into North of Vietnam, there railway traffics will be controlled by the Chinese and China will levy transport tax to pay for our loans in Vietnam, and if necessary this high-speed way will become the shortcut for PLA Army directly from China GuangXi province to Vietnam Hanoi city.


    I don't know. In most China supermarket average ¥50 per bag (one bag= 5kg-25kg). Don't misunderstand, Chinese didn't eat Thailand rice everyday. Generally our family bought one-two bags of Thailand rice per month, we mostly eat China rice but just enjoy Thailand rice for a change, and Thailand rice in China is a good gift to send friends.

    Anyway best Thailand rice is the most expensive price( over ¥100 per 10kg) in China rice market, much higher than some China local rice.

    Thailand rice in China supermarket, smell good & taste better than local rice:
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    Before solve our SCS disputes, we can't truely return old friendship time, specially Sino-Vietnam War happened.

    Thailand is more reliable and credible than Vietnam, don't forget 1980s-2000s China exported many weapons like tank/armored vehicle/frigate to Royal Thai Army/Navy. It indicated our government like Thailand more than Vietnam, and Chinese ppl also. For the Southeast Asia travel of common Chinese citizens, it must be Singapore,Malaysia,Thailand.

    In whole of Southeast Asian Nations, Vietnam was abandoned by China, at the same time country trades between China and Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand all higher than with Vietnam. BTW recently China also search to develop friendship with Indonesia coz the country around the malacca strait is important for China's interests.

    For Vietnam, we didn't care how much Vietnamese hates China but just make sure ur VCP won't crash.
  7. Panther 57
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    Panther 57 RESEARCH & DEV

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    It is because Chinese people have a taste for glutenous rice. Basmati is not glutenous and comes under the category of aromatic rice. Chinese must be liking Homali from Thailand.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  8. wanglaokan
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    wanglaokan SENIOR MEMBER

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    If Vietnam don't mess with China, we will help you build your infrastructure. Barter business will be also applied like Thai case.
  9. Viet
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    we are a more reliable partner than the Thai. They will sell you to the Japanese if they pay more than you. Wake up! Loyality is something they don´t know. In the WW II, when the Japanese promised the Thai a part of Cambodia, they changed the side, from France to Japan. When Japan surrendered, that came to an end of the friendship with Japan.

    Cambodia and Laos hated Thailand, they sought protection before the aggression of the Thai. that is the reason why both favored Vietnam. They became vassal of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty (18 century). Even today, both Cambodia and Laos want to side with Vietnam.

    Sure, right now we have sea dispute with you. But don´t forget we both have more peaceful periods than ones of confrontations. So after we gained independence, our emperors recognised Chinese supremacy and paid tributes, though we insisted on going alone.
  10. cirr
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    cirr SENIOR MEMBER

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    Hi-speed rail development "new highlight" in China-Thailand strategic cooperation

    English.news.cn 2013-10-24 18:05:37[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]

    BANGKOK, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- China's potential participation in Thailand's high-speed railway project will become a "new highlight" of the two countries' strategic cooperation, as it will further boost economic and trade cooperation, strengthen bilateral ties and enhance regional connectivity.

    "Connectivity is opportunity," Pansak Winyarat, chief economic adviser to Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, said recently in a Bangkok seminar to introduce Thailand's railway schemes.

    Noting that China's southwestern region has grown to be a major driving force in the country's economic growth, Pansak said a high-speed rail network connecting the region with Southeast Asia would serve the interests of both sides, as they could better complement each other's disadvantages through faster and cheaper transportation of goods and passengers.

    It will facilitate industry upgrades of both regions and bring about common development, he said.

    On a domestic scale, the economist said the multi-billion-U.S.-dollar system was also designed to speed up the movement of goods and passengers within Thailand, promoting domestic consumption and boosting economic growth.

    In particular, the project will help alleviate poverty in areas along the railway line, as business would thrive, sprouting restaurants, convenience stores and hotels, he added.

    Located in the center of Southeast Asia, Thailand has been hoping to become a regional logistics hub. But those who visit the kingdom could be surprised to see how outdated its rail system is.

    Equipped with narrow gauge and decrepit cars, the rail system in Thailand lags behind the country's economic growth and fails to satisfy its growing business and tourism demands.

    The Yingluck administration, since taking office in 2011, has been determined to make a change. In September, the lower house of the parliament gave the green light to an infrastructure overhaul scheme worth about 2.2 trillion Thai baht (about 70 billion U.S. dollars), aiming to modernize and expand the land transportation system throughout the country.

    With a head station in Bangkok, the proposed layout of the high-speed rail network will link the country's major provinces with each other and with its neighboring countries, including China, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore.

    There are four main routes: Bangkok-Pitsanuloak, which will be stretched up to Chiang Mai, which is viewed as the country's northern logistics hub and tourist destination hub; Bangkok-Nakorn Ratchasima, which will be extended to Nong Khai province, viewed as the gateway to the Lao capital of Vientiane; Bangkok-Rayong, the country's eastern seaboard industrial hub and deep-sea port; and Bangkok-Hua Hin, a flourishing tourist destination and gateway to the southern region.

    Among them, the northeastern line, which connects Bangkok and Nong Khai, is grabbing the most attention as it will traverse through Laos to reach China's southwestern Kunming city.

    The first phase of the project is set to be completed by 2020. By then, Thailand is expected to become the first country in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN) to offer high-speed railway services.

    China's high-speed rail technology has developed and proved its reliability and capability within its own territory, and now will take that abroad. Many Thai politicians and analysts have pointed out that compared with Japan and other bidders, China holds advantages in price, technology and experience.

    During his three-day visit to Thailand earlier this month, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang conveyed his country's willing to participate in Thailand's high-speed railway project, stressing that "railway cooperation can become a new highlight in China-Thailand cooperation."

    "There is enormous potential for railway cooperation between our two countries and China is keen to advance such cooperation," said the Chinese premier when addressing the Thai parliament.

    Following his speech, Jua Rajaseeha, chairman of Thailand's House Transport Committee, told Xinhua that China has the modern technology for high-speed trains which would be suitable for Thailand.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2013-10/24/c_132827769.htm
  11. bandit
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    Is the quality of rice tied to the quality of Chinese trains.?

    Thailand probably should have a quality control on Chinese trains.
  12. xunzi
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    xunzi SENIOR MEMBER

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    Our train quality is top-notch. Our speed is the highest in the world. You hear a few cases of Chinese train crash and you attribute to poor quality but when Japanese train crash, not a fucking words from Western media. Hypocrisy and double standard.
  13. cirr
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    cirr SENIOR MEMBER

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    There is no need to waste time trying to straighten a twisted mind that will go to grave twisted。:)

    These guys will most probably still be riding bullcarts when the Thais are shuttling back and forth between their great cities on Made-in-China high-speed trains。
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  14. cirr
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    cirr SENIOR MEMBER

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    ARL offers to run high-speed train system

    Published: 26 Oct 2013 at 00.00Newspaper section: Business

    RT Electrified Train Co, the operator of Bangkok's Airport Rail Link (ARL), is ready to manage Thailand's high-speed trains if the government approves the project.

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    A boy learns about China’s high-speed train service from a Chinese official. China Railways is hosting an exhibition at the Airport Rail Link’s Makkasan station to promote its railway system. The exhibition...

    http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/376455/arl-offers-to-run-high-speed-train-system

    Nice read。:D
  15. rott
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    rott FULL MEMBER

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    To each, his own. :)