Thailand agreed Monday that it would back Myanmar on a crucial project that could boost the once isolated economy, Asahi Shimbun reports.

The $50 billion project, led by Italian-Thai Development Plc, was previously a private initiative. Prime Minister Yingluck told a joint news conference that Thailand would support the project, though she did not mention on what level. The project would strategically connect the Dawei Economic Zone in southern Myanmar with Thailand’s industrial areas, including the Laem Chabang deep sea port, along the eastern seaboard. Ital-Thai would construct steel mills, refineries, a petrochemical complex and power plants. The deep sea port in Dawei would bring in goods that could be used in Thai industrial estates or shipped to third countries.

The project will attract foreign investments that were held back by decades of sanctions. Leaders from both countries claimed that regular meetings will be held in August.