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Thailand paying for new high speed rail system with rice!

Thailand’s transport minister is expected to formally agree a barter deal with the Chinese premier Li Keqiang today in a project to link Bangkok with Nong Khai near the Laos boarder. The program, to be part financed with agricultural products, is thought will someday link Thailand with the southern Chinese province of Kunming, via the Laos capital Vientiane.

However it has been reported that the transport minister is not optimistic about the success of the scheme and many aspects of the deal are still to be ironed out by both countries. It has also been reported that the a State Railway of Thailand official said that red tape would get in the way and pointed out that a deal in 2005 to buy diesel locos, freight wagons and spare and dried Lamyia with rice was scrapped this year when the Thai government paid by cash instead.

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