Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand plans to provide 8.5 billion THB (over 281.6 million USD), in loans next year for Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia to build four new transnational roads under the ASEAN Connectivity initiative, reported the Bangkok Post.

The infrastructure development plan will be submitted to the Thai cabinet for approval. Observers said the fast-growing economies of Myanmar and Cambodia are not burdened with huge debts and should suit such an initiative.

The interest rate for each road project is fixed at only 0.1 percent, said Perames Vudthitornetiraks, chief of the Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency, adding Bangkok wants the projects to help boost the Great Mekong Subregion.

In Myanmar, a 138-kilometre road, worth 4 billion THB, will be built to link the Dawei special economic zone with Namphu Ron in Kanchanaburi of Thailand. The Myanmar government is keen on developing this route, Perames said.

Nay Pyi Taw hopes to use this road as a linkage between Thailand and countries around Bengal under the Bay of Bengal Initiative Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) via its Dawei deep seaport.

Bangkok also sees Kanchanaburi as an important gateway to Myanmar. It is currently building a new 96-km motorway connecting Nonthaburi's Bang Yai district to its western province.

Another of the loans, worth 1.2 billion THB, will be for Cambodia to build a 131-km road from Thailand to Cambodia. The route will pass through key areas in Cambodia, including Anlong Veng district and Siem Reap province.

The Thai government also plans to finance the construction of a fifth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, linking Bueng Kan, the northeastern province in Thailand, and Bolikhamsai province in Laos.

About 1.3 billion THB will be spent to build a section of the bridge on the Laos side.

Another road project in Laos is the 2-billion-THB construction of a 147-km road, which will start in Nakhon Phanom, run through the city of Thakhek and go further to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi./.