PM asks Germany to join megaprojects
German investors are welcome to co-invest in the government’s infrastructure development megaprojects, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on Wednesday.
- Published: 27/03/2013 at 04:32 PM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
The premier said this in her speech on “European Investments in Thailand and the Kingdom's Future Strategies towards AEC 2015”, presented to the annual meeting of the Thai-German Chamber of Commerce (GTCC) held at a Bangkok hotel.
The Thai government was willing to work together with German investors in its infrastructure restructuring projects that are environmentally friendly, she said.
Ms Yingluck thanked the GTCC for helping mobilise the Thai economy at a hard time.
The success of the Thai government in getting through the great flood crisis in late 2011 was partly supported by continuing investment by German investors, she said.
Germany is Thailand’s biggest trade partner in the European Union, posting a bilateral trade value of more than 600 billion baht in 2012. Thailand and Germany agreed that the trade and investment ties between the two countries should be further strengthened, Mr Yingluck said.
She assured German businessmen of Thailand’s strong economic fundamentals and fiscal potential and political stability.
The government’s policy to stimulate domestic consumption and investment promotion had pushed the economy to grow by 6.4% in 2012. It is projected that the gross domestic product (GDP) would expand between 4.5% and 5.5% this year, she said.
In addition, Fitch Ratings had on March 8 raised its credit rating on Thailand, citing a resilient economy and a more stable political environment. The country's long-term foreign currency-denominated debt was raised one level to BBB+ from BBB, she added.
This not only reflected the global credit rating firm’s confidence in Thailand’s political stability, but also the country’s strong financial status. The government revenue derived from tax collection exceeded the set target over the past months of the year, while the public debt stood at only 44% of GDP as of the end of January, Ms Yingluck said.
In order to ensure sustainable growth and strengthen competiveness of the country, she said, the government has planned investment of two-trillion-baht in infrastructure development megaprojects.
Thailand failed to invest in the development of its transportation and logistics system over the past ten years. As a result, Thai businesses have to shoulder more expensive logistics cost than their competitors, while their trade competitiveness has been eroding, she said.
The infrastructure development projects, with connectivity to those of neighbouring countries, would enable Thailand to become a regional transportation hub and a gateway to other Asean member countries, she said.
The government will also spend about 9 billion euros on water resources management and flood control projects to prevent a recurrence of the great flood of 2011, Ms Yingluck said.
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