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China to dig tunnel for Asian rail system

A major construction project for the ambitious Trans-Asian Railway Network is set to commence in China next month, according to a senior rail expert.

"The Gaoligong Mountain Rail Tunnel will be more than 30 kilometres long and will help link Yunnan province to Myanmar," said Wang Mengshu, a tunnel and railway expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Under the plan, the lines will start in Kunming, Yunnan province, and connect Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. They constitute the southern part of the Trans-Asian Railway, which was initiated in the 1960s and began to take shape after 18 countries endorsed an agreement in November 2006. Some sections of the railway suitable for high-speed operation will allow trains to run at 250km/h.

Other sections will hold speeds to a maximum of 180km/h, Wang said. - China Daily

Bank of Thailand, Japan agency ink pact

The Bank of Thailand and the Financial Services Agency of Japan signed an exchange of letters for cooperation (EOL) yesterday.

The EOL provides a formal basis for cooperation between the two authorities in sound financial regulatory mechanisms, particularly, financial administration, financing for small and medium-sized enterprises, and reference rate reform.

Additionally, both authorities may extend the cooperation to cover other mutually agreeable areas.

Drink market 'to resume'

The alcoholic-beverage market in Thailand is expected to resume normal growth in the third or fourth quarter if the political turmoil is solved in the current second quarter, said Vichet Tantivanich, senior vice president of Thai Beverage.

The industry did not grow as it should have since early this year because of the lack of a celebration mood, he said.He added that ThaiBev held about 14 per cent of the alcoholic-beverage market in Asean, which still has ample growth room.

He said the company's business was still healthy despite the political situation, thanks to its diversified portfolio of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.


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