China's overseas contracted projects witnessed brisk growth in 2016
"We (Thailand and China) are almost done with the contract, 90 percent I will say, the construction will start in this year for sure," Chatchai told Xinhua after a press conference of the Transport Ministry.
Thai Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith also mentioned the railway project at the press conference, saying it is a project of great importance to the kingdom, as it will connect Thailand with neighboring countries.
The current project, 252 km high speed railway from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima, will be extended another 355 km to Nong Khai on the Thai-Lao border, connecting with China-Lao railway from Vientiane to Kunming in China's southern Yunnan province, according to Arkhom.
ity and construction projects, said a recent industry report.
Combined business revenue from contracted projects overseas increased 3.5 percent year on year to 159.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, the China International Contractors Association said Monday in a report.
These companies signed new contracts last year totaling 244 billion dollars, surging 16.2 percent year on year in 2016, with 33 such projects worth more than 1 billion dollars each, six more than in 2015, noted the report.
Despite anemic global market demand, the Chinese project contractors' overseas business was buttressed by transportation projects, railways in particular, electricity projects and various construction projects, especially non-residential construction, it added.
Countries along the Belt and Road will continue to be growth engines for Chinese contractors' overseas business, but they are also confronted with challenges including homogeneous competition among peers and mounting financing stress in some African and Latin American countries, it said.
Fang Qiuchen, chairman of the association, suggested increasing financing support to contractors, speeding up business model innovation and improving their risk control capabilities.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a grand plan proposed by China in 2013 to connect Asia with Europe and Africa along -- and beyond -- ancient trade routes by building a trade and infrastructure network.
The China International Contractors Association was established in 1988 by Chinese international project investors, contractors, labor service companies and related service providers, and has more than 1,300 members.