The government plans to establish a national shipping company to promote Thailand as a regional logistics hub for maritime trade.
Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Sunday that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had tasked state agencies to study the possibility and profitability of establishing a shipping company.
The project would be in line with the Southern Land Bridge project which will allow the transport of goods between the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea.
A working group preparing for the creation of the company, headed by Deputy Minister of Transport Atirat Ratanasate, is currently in talks with the Ports Authority of Thailand (PAT) to instruct PAT to conduct a feasibility study on the issue. Mr Thanakorn said.
A deal is expected next month and the study is expected to be completed in May before being presented to cabinet in September next year, he said, adding that the company would then be established in a year.
On December 9, the panel also explored the potential of inland shipping for the Gulf of Thailand in the provinces of Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Songkhla, with a workshop held to discuss the issue, a declared the spokesperson. .
The panel also inspected the transport of goods in the Gulf of Thailand to the port of Chuk Samet in Chon Buri, Mr. Thanakorn said. The panel also highlighted the need for state agencies to cooperate with the private sector to develop port infrastructure through automation and improve legal regulations to support domestic shipping.
Regarding efforts to promote international shipping, the panel tasked the Department of the Navy and PAT to explore the possibility of offering privileges to the private sector to persuade more operators to hoist their vessels under. Thai national flags, he said.
“The Prime Minister’s policy is to strengthen Thailand’s competitiveness in maritime transport in order to reduce its dependence on foreign vessels, reduce transport costs and reduce the trade deficit resulting from freight costs charged by foreign ships for the shipment of goods, ”Mr. Thanakorn said.
The PM also plans to support efforts to establish a national fleet of commercial vessels and related industries, such as shipyards. Another goal is to improve the skills of commercial shipping personnel to ensure that Thailand becomes a maritime logistics hub, said Thanakorn.