Thailand plans to complete its high-speed rail system that will connect its transportation to China through Laos by 2028.

The government stressed its commitment to the project following a meeting between Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi this week. The Chinese State Councilor asserted that the “economic corridor” connecting China, Laos, and Thailand will promote logistics, trade, and economic development.

According to the Department of Rail Transport, the first stage of the project, which spans 253 kilometers from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima province, is currently 12 percent complete. Officials pledged that the first stage and a test run would be completed by 2026, with the official launch following in 2027.

Meanwhile, the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning is conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the second stage of the project, which spans 356 kilometers from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai, where a bridge will be built over the Mekong River to connect with the China-Laos line.

The State Railway of Thailand is expected to submit the final revision of the plan for the second stage to the Ministry of Transport and the cabinet for consideration by the end of 2022.