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Next Stop, Nong Bua Lamphu! Thai PM’s Breathtaking Bid to Turn Around Northeastern Economy Unveiled – What Will This Mean for the Locals?

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The honourable Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin recently revealed exciting news that his inaugural mobile cabinet meeting will take place in the flourishing Nong Bua Lamphu province, come November. The PM addressed this at the Lao border checkpoint’s Customs Office in Nong Khai, emphasizing that this decision derived from his exploratory visit to the northeastern region, which intrigued him immensely.

Prime Minister Srettha’s ambitious intention behind selecting Nong Bua Lamphu as the meeting’s venue is to confront and discuss the grassroots difficulties encountered by the local populace. These challenges include, but are not limited to, dwindling income, rampant drug menace, and debilitating droughts – all of which have been plaguing the region for far too long.

Prior to his insightful trip to Nong Khai, the distinguished Prime Minister extended his visit to Khon Kaen and Udon Thani. He expressed his admiration for these provinces’ capacity to amplify their economies. This is majorly attributed to their strategic locations adjacent to Laos, the proud owner of a high-speed train that connects to China, and their possession of bustling airports propelling the tourism industry.

In reply to potential queries regarding the second phase of the dual-track train project originating from Khon Kaen and terminating in Nong Khai, Mr. Srettha assured that this agenda would be pivotal to the next cabinet meeting. Revealing that a significant budget for the train track’s construction has already been planned, he deemed this issue as of urgent priority. He confidently implied that while not needing a mammoth amount of money, the project holds the promise of high revenue generation.

Prime Minister Srettha’s vision entails simultaneous construction of the track and a cargo station at the Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge. Envisaging the bridge as a crucial link between Nong Khai and Vientiane in Laos, he stressed the role of inter-departmental collaborations for beneficial infrastructure improvements. This is deemed essential for Thailand’s export industry to compete with powerhouses like Laos and China.

Earlier international trade negotiations have yielded positive results, and the PM is anticipated to revisit the northeastern region by next month-end to supervise the progress of infrastructure development.

The PM was also apprised by the Chamber of Commerce president and business sector representatives in Nong Khai, that their vision comprises the completion of the bridge connecting Nong Khai and Vientiane by 2029. Their demands from Mr. Srettha also included establishing a trading centre for merchants.

The local authorities further urged the government to endorse Khon Kaen University’s proposal of launching a school dedicated to high-speed railway engineering. This can potentially uplift the labour force in the northeastern region. The request concluded with advocating for more Nong Khai-centred economic policies.

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