: The construction of an additional bridge between Malaysia and Thailand is expected to start next year, the deputy director-general of the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid said.
"We have already finalised the facility study and the intention is to work further on (this), so that we can start next year," he added.
The decision to move forward on the project was taken at the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) senior officials preparatory meeting here today.
It will be forwarded to the leaders of the respective countries for endorsement on April 28 during the IMT-GT Leaders Summit.
However, the project is not just about bricks and mortar, Nik Azman said, adding, it also involves the readiness of both countries in various other aspects.
"It's not only in terms (of the construction) of the bridge and also involves the customs, immigration and other authorities. Both countries have to be fully prepared before work can start," he told reporters after the preparatory meeting.
Currently, two bridges connect southern Thailand with Kelantan.
The Rantau Panjang to Sungai Golok town bridge was completed in 1972, and the second, connecting Bukit Bunga to Buketa, was ready in late 2007.
The new bridge project would be done with equal funding from Bangkok and Putrajaya.
Beside the project, Nik Azman said the will also discuss progress of the Rubber City development in Kedah.IMT-GT Leaders Summit
He said there were some issues on the project site that needs to be sorted out between Malaysia and Thailand, but did not reveal details.
The IMT-GT which was established in 1993 provides a sub-regional framework for accelerating economic cooperation and integration of the member states and provinces in the three countries.
It also promotes private-sector led economic growth and facilitates the development of the sub-regional framework as a whole, by exploiting the underlying complementarities and comparative advantages of the member countries.