A plan is afoot to transform Udon Thani into a hub of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), has been announced by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha during his visit to the northeastern province.
To realise the plan, Gen Prayut said the government has approved a budget to finance infrastructural improvement projects with several projects on the table to enable the transformation of Udon Thani into a GMS hub.
A high-speed railway is being built connecting Bangkok and Nong Khai, which will also pass Udon Thani, as part of the rail transport network being undertaken by China.
Udon Thani airport will also be expanded to handle up to 7 million passengers a year. A direct flight from Hua Hin was being well-patronised before a Covid-related interruption with plans to resume that service in January.
The Friendship Highway from Udon Thani to Nong Khai was also being widened to six lanes in both directions. Construction is under way and the project is expected to be completed in three years. The improved road will be a boon for growing businesses and tourism from Laos and China.
In addition, a new road will be forged connecting Udon Thani directly with neighbouring Bueng Kan province, which will be the site for 5th Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge. The road is estimated to cost around 5.5 billion baht.