Project ID: 34309

Rice for Rails agreement for for China Thailand Trans-Asia Railway Bangkok to Nong Kai (Linked to #38130 and #38128)

Not recommended for aggregates

This project is not recommended for use in creating aggregated sums. See the documentation for more information about this criteria.


Funding agency [Type]

China Ministry of Commerce [Government Agency]




Transport and storage (Code: 210)

Flow type

Vague TBD





Mixed (The next section lists the possible statuses.)





Financial Flow Classification

OOF-like (The next section lists the possible statuses.)

Official Development Assistance

Other Official Flows

Vague (Official Finance)

Flows categorized based on OECD-DAC guidelines

Project lifecycle


Cancelled (The next section lists the possible statuses.)








Commitment year



According to press release from Channel News Asia and BBC in January 2002, China pledged US$4 billion towards building a Trans-Asian railway track stretching from Singapore to China. The funds will be used to finance the construction of the track between the Thai capital Bangkok and Kunming in southern China. Later on, agreements were signed for rice purchases in exchange for aid on the rail project. Since then, Thailand’s PM announced on the 23rd March 2016 that the project would still go ahead but it would be financed entirely by the Thai Government (source: Thailand Ends Railway Loan Talks with China). This project covers the rice purchase agreement section of this project's funding.In 2013, formal discussions began for the railway (source: 重磅!咱总理力促的中泰铁路合作启动啦!, Joint Press Statementon Long-Term Program on the Development of Thailand, 财经观察:中泰战略合作新契机或在高铁合建). A Memorandum of Understanding signed in October 2013 stated that Chinese rail constructors were to provide equipment for the project while Thailand was to pay in part or totally in barter of rice and rubber.In August, 2014, the Thai government briefly announced its exit from the bilateral barter program of rice for high speed rail due to the military coup in Thailand that lead to a review of all existing public investment projects. However, by the end of August, the project was reinstated, though financial details remained unclear (source: The End of The 'Chinese Rice For Train Plan' In Thailand, Right?).On December 19, 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding for the Sino-Thai Railway and Agricultural Cooperation was signed (source: 重磅!咱总理力促的中泰铁路合作启动啦!). Plans for the Trans-Asian Railway were changed to a China-Thailand Railway stretching approximately 800km from Bangkok to Nong Kai. The first section will be 734km from Nong Kai to Map Ta Phut Deep Sea Port in Rayong via Nakhon Ratchesima and Keang Khoi (which may translate in some variations as Kummings) (source: 中泰233亿美元高铁项目获批 昆明直达曼谷(图), Thailand, China sign train investment pact, 重磅!咱总理力促的中泰铁路合作启动啦!). The second section will connect be 133km from Keang Khoi to Bangkok. The estimated cost of this project in 2014 was $10.6 billion (source: 泰国总理即将访华签署两国铁路合作协议, Thailand, China sign train investment pact). In 2014, the Chinese MOFCOM stated that railway project was expected to start construction between January and February 2015 and is expected to be completed in five years (source: Thai National Legislative Assembly approved the draft MOU in building a railway in Thailand). According to the December 2014 memorandum of understanding, Thailand and China will form a joint working group to conduct detailed research on cooperation projects (source: 中泰或签铁路合作谅解备忘录 泰方盼后年动工). Alongside the railway Memorandum of Understanding, China also agreed to buy two million tons of rice and 200,000 tons of rubber from Thailand in other Memorandums of Understanding (source: China, Thailand Sign Rail, Rice, and Rubber Deals). The Chinese and Thai governments will each pay for the repair of their own section of the railway and operate separately, while Chinese contractors will provide Thailand with all technology needed to repair the railway and Thailand provides China with rice (source: 中泰233亿美元高铁项目获批 昆明直达曼谷(图)).However, as of December 4, there were still disagreements on rice purchases. Rubber purchases were also added to the agreement. Chinese contractors agreed to buy one million tonnes of new rice and 200,000 tonnes of rubber from Thailand, although specific details were still being negociated (source: Sino-Thai railway deal 'on track'; China, Thailand Sign Rail, Rice, and Rubber Deals, Thailand to sign rail, rice, rubber deals with China). On December 19, 2015, the launching ceremony of the China-Thailand Railway was held (source: 重磅!咱总理力促的中泰铁路合作启动啦!). On Decmber 25, 2014, it was reported by Chinese MOFCOM that the Industiral and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) will also provide financial support for this project by helping Thai construction companies raise funds in the offshore market (source: ICBC Thailand behind Thailand in railway projects).Despite the 2015 launch date of this project, construction began in 2017 (source: 中泰签署中泰铁路合作项目一期工程新合同).In 2016, the Chinese and Thai governments entered negotiations for a loan for the China-Thailand Railway, covered in project #38130. A further construction contract called 'The China-Thailand Railway Cooperation Project Phase I (Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima Section) Line Project 2.3 Contract' was signed on on October 28, 2020 by the China Railway International Co., Ltd., China Railway Design Group Co., Ltd. and the National Railway Administration of Thailand. The contract mainly includes the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima section of the track, the four power system, procurement, installation and commissioning of rolling stock, and related training (source: 中泰签署中泰铁路合作项目一期工程新合同).Linked to #38130 for loans for this project and #38128 is for a joint-venture involved in construction.

Number of official sources


Number of unofficial sources


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Cofinancing agencies [Type]

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) [State-owned Commercial Bank]

Implementing agencies [Type]

China Railway Bridge Survey and Design Institute [State-owned Company]; China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) [State-owned Company]; Thailand Ministry of Transportation [Government Agency]