Finance Minister Mr.Apisak Tantivorawong and Mr.Ramesh Subramanian, Director General for Southeast Asia, Asian Development Bank (ADB), jointly signed a financial contract on July 4, 2018 between the Ministry of Finance and ADB. The contract involves the construction of a 4-lane road (phase 2) which is designated Highway Route 22 linking Nong Han district in Udon Thani province with Pang Khon district in Sakhon Nakhon province – Nakhon Phanom province (km 180-213), as well as Highway Route 23 linking Roi Et province with Yasothon province. The construction projects shall be supervised by the Department of Highways. The details, terms and conditions of the contract have been agreed upon and approved by the cabinet, with a budget not exceeding 99.4 million dollar (equivalent to not exceeding 3,404 million baht). Its financial conditions are also in line with international standards regulated by ADB. Also joining the contract-signing ceremony was Transport Minister Mr.Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.
The Public Debt Management Office (PDMO) under the Ministry of Finance, the Department of Highways under the Ministry of Transport and ADB will jointly take part in considering the conditions and details in the financial contract to make sure it is in compliance with management of the project, as well as to monitor project’s operational progress and ensure that disbursement will be conducted in thorough, effcient and transparent manners, to meet ADB requirements.
With this financial agreement with ADB, all Thai government agencies concerned are expected to gain construction knowledge and technologies and management know-how, as well as international procurement procedure, through coordination with ADB experts. This will ensure that the projects will be operated efficiently and completed as scheduled in 2022, which will lead to the development of a complete 4-lane road network.
“Transport infrastructure is an important driver of growth for Thailand’s economy,” said Mr.Subramaniam. “Improving the country’s road network will boost economic growth and improve people’s access to economic opportunities and social services. It will also help Thailand become a trading and economic hub in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).”
Highway Routes 22 and 23 shall complement expansion of the the Asian Highway 15 (AH15) network development, in sections located in Thailand. It shall provide transport and logistical connections to the CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam), which can be further conveniently connected to southern China. This new transport network also corresponds to the Thai government’s Special Economic Zone deveopment plan, phase 2 (Nakhon Phanom Special Economic Zone and Nong Khai Special Economic Zone) and serves as linkage development to Chong Mek border areas in Ubon Ratchathani province and areas in the middle northeastern region. Importantly, it will strongly support the government’s East – West Economic Corridor (EWEC) policy, which is expected to increase volume of road traffic, through becoming part of the the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) integration in a highly potential manner.