Infrastructure development will carry Thailand through economic recession next year as many projects start to operate and more are still in the pipeline, Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said on Thursday.
Mr Supattanapong, also the energy minister, told the Bangkok Post Forum 2022, "Accelerating Thailand”, that many infrastructure projects with ground-breaking ceremonies in 2015 were operational and those still under construction were expected to start in the next few years.
Present and future projects include better highways, more motorways, new international airports, improved deep-sea ports, new locomotives, railway network extensions, more mass transit lines, improving digital infrastructure and better power transmission lines, according to Mr Supattanapong.
Thai people were now better equipped with digital knowledge after the boom in digital platforms during the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced people to improve their skills in this area, he said.
The World Bank and other international organisations had warned of a global recession next year as central banks continued to raise interest rates to tame high inflation, with the war between Russia and Ukraine and computer chip shortages disrupting global trade and exacerbating the situation.
But, the deputy prime minister said, the strengths of Thailand in infrastructure and digital skills, and the policy to promote the biocircular and green economy would still woo investors to the country.
He singled out wellness, medicine, the bioeconomy, data centres and cloud services among the sectors that could be targeted by investors after the summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders in Bangkok.
“We are confident that after the Apec meeting in November, investors in these sectors will come to Thailand due to the readiness of infrastructure, markets and local people," he said.
Bangkok will host the Apec summit from Nov 18-19.