Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the world's evolving digital infrastructure competition, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
Thailand is leading ASEAN in the provision of 5G services after increased demand for telemedicine, teleworking, and faster internet speeds in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led the country's telecommunications companies to expedite their 5G rollout plans.
China's Belt and Road infrastructure projects in Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia have come to a standstill as countries prioritize fighting COVID-19, Nikkei reports.
Bangkok's railway is set to double to approximately 300 km in 2023, Thailand hopes that this development will ease traffic and help achieve sustainable, high-quality economic growth, Nikkei reports.
Chinese-funded projects along the Mekong River are increasingly facing pushback from governments and environmentalists in the region as water levels drop due to drought and the construction of large dams. In an attempt to address these concerns, Vietnam plans to add the Mekong River to ASEAN's agenda this year, Nikkei reports.
Thailand's 5G development is moving forward with domestic mobile operators. The nation's largest telecommunications firm recently acquired several frequency bands key to providing high-speed internet and internet of things technologies, Nikkei reports.
Chinese companies are constructing new factories in Southeast Asia in an effort to avoid U.S. tariffs, with Chinese direct investment in Thailand increasing fivefold in 2019.
As the U.S.-China trade war drives Chinese enterprises and other companies to relocate, Southeast Asian countries are constructing industrial parks and using tax incentives to attract manufacturers. As a result, Chinese corporate investment in Thailand is expected to increase by 30 percent this year, and foreign direct investment in Malaysia roughly doubled, Nikkei reports.
Huawei Technologies is lobbying to build Thailand's 5G network in order to strengthen its foothold in Southeast Asia. Thailand's economy is the second-largest in the region and important to Huawei, in order to secure a deal they have ramped up the offer to include building a tech training center in Bangkok, Nikkei reports.
Many Asian cities, such as Jakarta and Bangkok, are threatened by rising sea levels. Unless delayed water infrastructure projects are accelerated, large sections of these cities will be underwater in the near future, Nikkei reports.
Amidst discussions over the liabilities and feasibility of a $9.9 billion price tag, the Thai government has delayed a high-profile Chinese Belt and Road high speed railway project.
A company in Thailand has formed a consortium with China Railway Construction to build a $7.3 billion high-speed railway, Nikkei reports.
Last month, the Thai junta issued an order granting loan extensions of 60 million baht to three major telecom operators to stimulate 5G rollout. However, the loan extensions may not be enough to prod the companies into action, as 5G development could wind up costing as much as 100 billion baht, reports Nikkei.
Thailand's prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with Laos and China to accelerate the construction of a much delayed high-speed rail line between northeast Thailand and Vientiane in Laos, reports Nikkei.
After a 45-year hiatus, Thailand and Cambodia reopened their cross-border railway service on Monday. With the rail service connecting the border town of Aranyaprathet in Thailand with Poipet in Cambodia, train passengers can now travel between the capitals of Bangkok and Phnom Penh, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Thailand's government will invest $2.78 billion in Laem Chabang port, the core of Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor. The Thai government hopes to position the deep-water port to compete with Singapore and Hong Kong, reports Nikkei.
Thailand and Vietnam have announced plans to start 5G services as early as 2020. The Southeast Asian nations are scrambling to introduce 5G networks, determined not to fall behind developed nations, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Thailand's state-owned energy group PTT has earmarked around $4 billion for projects including pipelines and liquefied natural gas terminals over the next decade, supporting the government's efforts to diversify the country's coal-heavy energy supply. More gas-fired plants are also expected to be built to support Thailand's growing energy demand, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Southeast Asia’s strategic importance for China, the United States, Japan, and others, and the advantages that will come with control over data flows, mean that the region’s decisions on digital infrastructure and internet governance will have implications that far transcend business outcomes.
Beijing is currently working on construction of a high-speed rail line in northern Thailand. Under its planned 3,000-km pan-Asian railway network, Chinese rail lines will extend even further south, stretching through Malaysia and feeding into Singapore, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Reconnecting Asia tracks infrastructure developments across Eurasia, a vast landmass that includes 60 percent of the global economy. Every day, new infrastructure projects are announced, some are advanced, and others encounter obstacles. Here is a selection of projects and trends we will be watching in 2019.
Thailand will spend more than $25 billion to build a high-speed rail network in a bid to transform the country into a regional rail hub. The Bang Sue Grand Station in Bangkok, when completed in 2020, is expected be Southeast Asia's biggest station with a capacity of serving 400,000 passengers daily.
Multiple companies have expressed interest in bidding for the $1.7 billion worth of contracts to expand the Map Thaput port into a major deep sea port -- part of a larger infrastructure drive to create a huge economic and business center in the east of the country.
China Railway Construction will join a consortium led by Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) to bid for the construction of Thailand's $7 billion high-speed railway project that will link three major airports.
The Thai government has approved four infrastructure megaprojects, worth a combined $14 billion, in an effort to rev up new investment in the country's Eastern Economic Corridor.
The leaders of Japan and five Southeast Asian countries agreed to adopt a new policy that pushes forward more than 150 projects in the Mekong region using official development assistance from Japan.
Envisioning a bilateral trade deal with Sri Lanka, the Thai government hopes to tap into opportunities from China's Belt and Road Initiative without directly dealing with China.
In preparations to double airport capacity, Thailand plans to build a 220-km high-speed railway connecting three major airports by 2023.
Thai oil and gas group PTT is in discussions with potential partners to develop an estimated $7 billion high-speed train project as part of the country's Eastern Economic Corridor.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi heads to Nepal for a meeting of the seven-nation BIMSTEC bloc, where improved trade and connectivity have the potential to help India counter Beijing's massive Belt and Road Initiative, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Thailand is welcoming 500 Chinese companies over the weekend and is expecting to sign more than a dozen bilateral contracts that will link its Eastern Economic Corridor to China's Belt and Road Initiative.
Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam have announced the The Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Fund. The fund aims to help Southeast Asia become more financially self-reliant and reduce its dependence on external economic and political giants, particularly China.
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Thirty-one companies from Thailand and abroad have expressed interest in bidding for the right to build the country's first high-speed railway, valued at $7.07 billion. The 220km route will link three major airports and will be the first large infrastructure project to be built in the Eastern Economic Corridor.
Vietnam plans to develop the largest solar plant in the ASEAN region, a 420-megawatt facility located in Tay Ninh in southwestern Vietnam. Talks are underway with several local and international financial institutions for project funding for the $420 million project.
Five nations that share the Mekong River: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam adopted a five-year master development plan during the 2018 ACMECS summit in Bangkok. The plan vowed to upgrade roads, power grids, and other pieces of infrastructure that connect and strengthen the region.
In anticipation of a big trade increase along the BRI's Eastern Economic Corridor, Hong Kong-based Hutchinson Port Holdings has invested $600 million to open a new high-tech, fully automated terminal at Thailand's largest commercial port this June.
Several local communities in rural Thailand have lobbied to block environmentally-damaging infrastructure projects backed by Chinese companies sparking similar actions across Southeast Asia.
Thai industrial conglomerate Siam Cement Group seeks investment possibilities in South China and India in the years ahead. China's Belt and Road Initiative gives the conglomerate an opportunity to sell more products as the initiative stimulates spending on construction and spurs an increase in private-sector investments.
Infrastructure improvements within the Eurasian Economic Union have fueled interest in a free trade agreement between Thailand and the Russia-led bloc.
Thai deputy prime minister Somkid Jatusripitak seeks investment to develop the Eastern Economic Corridor, including channeling more than $45 billion into infrastructure projects ranging from airports and ports to highways and roads.
Thailand's parliament has approved a much-awaited law regarding the country’s Eastern Economic Corridor, series of economic zones the government hopes will attract $9.4 billion of new investment in 2018.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes all ten ASEAN leaders to New Dehli in an attempt to strengthen trade and connectivity with the bloc.
The Prime Minister of Thailand has instructed transport officials to reduce the maximum speed of the 670-kilometer Thai-Japanese high-speed rail.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of powerful phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
Chinese led high-speed rail projects across Southeast Asia, a core part of the Belt and Road Initiative, are lagging due to cost issues and trouble procuring land.
New projections show India's economy becoming third largest in the world, with other major ASEAN nations surging forward to propel Asian economic growth.
Thai company plans to develop industrial parks in its cheaper neighboring countries along the Mekong River, where it bets manufacturing will pick up.
A group of influential businessmen and former generals in Thailand and reportedly urging Prime Minister, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha to consider backing a $28 billion canal to Link the Indian and Pacific Oceans across the Isthmus of Kra.