New Industrial Estate To Link Isaan With Mekong Nations

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — A new industrial estate, currently under construction in northeastern Thailand, is primarily designed as a logistics and freight forwarding center in connection with neighboring countries, confirmed a senior government official on Monday.

The industrial estate in Udon Thani province, which is now 50 percent complete and scheduled to open next year, is designed to locate a logistics and freight forwarding center with a major terminal for container-carrying trucks to shuttle between Udon Thani province and Nong Khai province on the border with Laos, said Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) Governor Somjin Philuek.

Thai goods cargoes will be transported from the Udon Thani industrial estate across the Mekong River to the Lao capital Vientiane and then to Vietnam, according to the IEAT governor.

The Udon Thani industrial estate, which will be the 16th industrial estate of Thailand, is only 14 kilometers from Udon Thani airport and 53 kilometers from Nong Khai province.


Somjin forecast the Udon Thani industrial estate will attract some 100 billion baht (about 3.19 billion U.S. dollars) in venture capital, collect up to 20 billion baht (about 639 million U.S. dollars) in yearly tax revenue and employ no less than 20,000 people.

Betong Airport to Open By Year’s End

Thailand’s Ministry of Transport on Monday published on its website that Betong Airport in the southern province of Yala is ready for service by year end in December.

“Construction for Betong Airport has now completed; authorities will be running tests before acquiring operating licenses, as well as installing related aviation systems,” said Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob.

The minister said he is in discussion with all related agencies including the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, to ensure all remaining work is completed in the next two months.

Last year, budget airlines including Nok Air, Bangkok Airways and Malaysia’s Firefly airline had expressed interests in flying to Betong Airport.


Nok Air had expressed interests in operating direct flights between Betong and Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport.

Bangkok Airways also planned to extend its domestic service to Betong Airport while Malaysia’s Firefly planned international flights to Betong.

The 53 million U.S. dollars Betong airport project was designed to handle small aircrafts such as the ATR twin turbo-prop with 60-80 seats.