Canal between Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand

18/10/2009

Economic globalization has dramatically expanded the  volume of world trade. The value of worldwide imports and exports has reached about US$ 14,000 billion each. While Europe continues to be a major trading area in the west, West Asia and South Asia also have enlarged their imports and exports. On the east besides Japan and Hong Kong, China, South Korea and Taiwan have emerged as leading importers and exporters (among the top 20 countries).

A large volume of merchandise moves from the west viz Europe, West Asia and South Asia to the east viz Hong Kong, Taiwan,  China, Japan and South Korea. Currently, cargo vessels ply along Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea passing around Malaysia to reach the Gulf of Thailand  and South China Sea. If a canal is dug in Thailand to connect the Andaman Sea with the Gulf of Thailand, distance between  Europe and South China will be reduced by  about 2,000 km (about 1,000 nautical miles). This is approximately 20% of the total distance from Europe and will lead to substantial savings in time (about two days) and transport costs (fuel, wages, etc). Furthermore, saving fuel also means reducing pollution of the environment.

It is clearly beneficial to consider such a canal.