State funds set for July debut
The 100-billion-baht Thailand Future Fund and the 10-billion-baht Competitiveness Fund are poised to launch next month, aiming to spur private investment.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, the Finance Ministry is consulting the Council of State on a draft bill to set up the two funds.
The Thailand Future Fund is a financial instrument created by the ministry to enhance long-term investment in infrastructure projects, while the Competitiveness Fund aims to invest in start-ups and innovative businesses.
Mr Somkid said the two funds would function as key financial sources for private investment this year.
The cabinet in December approved the creation of the Thailand Future Fund as a means of raising cash for the construction of state projects.
The 10-billion-baht Competitiveness Fund won cabinet approval last November as a source of financing for private investment in the government's 10 targeted industries: automotive, electronics, wellness tourism, biotechnology, robotics, aviation/logistics, food, biochemicals, digital and medical.
Mr Somkid yesterday visited the Transport Ministry to encourage related agencies to speed up their work on infrastructure projects.
The government aims to kick-start the construction of 20 megaprojects valued at 1.6 trillion baht this year as part of a plan to stimulate the economy.
The cabinet already approved 11 projects worth 460 billion baht that are due for completion by 2022.
Private investment accounted for 25% of total investment. Eight projects are under construction.
"State investment will help stimulate investment by the private sector," Mr Somkid said. "The government expects to be able to open bids for three mass-transit routes in Bangkok, the Pink Line from Khae Rai to Min Buri, the Yellow Line from Lat Phrao to Samrong and the Orange Line connecting Thailand Cultural Centre with Min Buri, later this month. This will help boost foreign and local investor confidence."
He said the government is also committed to accelerating investment in two high-speed rail projects, the 193.5-kilometre Bangkok-Rayong route worth 153 billion baht and the 211km Bangkok-Hua Hin route worth 94.7 billion baht.
The two high-speed rail projects will promote connectivity between Thailand and neighbouring Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.