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Thailand prioritises $75bn of infra projects

Thailand’s National Council for Peace and Order announced this week it would launch a $75bn infrastructure programme over the next eight years.

Thailand's Permanent Secretary for Transport, Soythip Trisuth, has said that five projects, collectively worth THB2.4 trillion (€56 billion; $75 billion), will be developed between 2015 and 2022 to facilitate economic growth, the state-owned National News Bureau of Thailand reported.

The military junta (National Council for Peace and Order; NCPO) is setting transportation infrastructure as a priority for the country to unlock its growth potential and vowed to commit the THB2.4 trillion sum for the development of inter-city rail, as well as transportation improvements in Bangkok and its vicinity, the development of water transport networks and the enhancement of air transport competitiveness.

The network, which would traverse the country from North to South, linking the country to Laos/China and Malaysia/Singapore, will improve production hubs’ connections to neighboring countries.

The NCPO has also approved a THB127 billion project to construct six dual-track rail routes and has appointed a task force to seek financial sources within a month, local press reported.

Traisuth reportedly said that the NCPO had approved THB741.46 billion to build two high-speed train routes that will connect Thailand's industrialised eastern seaboard with its northern and north-eastern borders.

The construction of the two routes, from Nong Khai in the north-east and Chiang Khong in the north, will span from 2015 to 2021.

Appropriate linkage with China would allow Thailand to tap into the Asian giant’s economy. 

The announcement comes only days after Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission’s secretary general revealed it would issue this quarter a policy enhancing fundraising in Thailand for infrastructure projects in neighboring countries (Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar).