Srettha eyes major investment increase

Srettha eyes major investment increase

PM to outline aviation hub ambitions on Friday, expanding on ‘Ignite Thailand’ theme

Prommin Lertsuridej, secretary-general to the prime minister, says Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has a policy to expedite investment in all types of infrastructure to propel Thailand to be a regional logistics hub. (File photo)
Prommin Lertsuridej, secretary-general to the prime minister, says Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has a policy to expedite investment in all types of infrastructure to propel Thailand to be a regional logistics hub. (File photo)

The Pheu Thai-led government has pledged to attract the most investment in 20 years to compensate for “lost decades” in the logistics sector, aiming to make Thailand a regional hub by 2030.

The investment drive would include upgrading airports nationwide, positioning Suvarnabhumi as a top-five global airport; continuing the flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), expediting the stalled railway connecting three airports including Suvarnabhumi, and accelerating the high-speed train linking Bangkok to Nong Khai, connecting to Laos and China, said Prommin Lertsuridej, secretary-general to the prime minister.

“The prime minister has a policy to expedite investment in all types of infrastructure to propel Thailand to be a regional logistics hub. This includes both existing and new projects,” said Mr Prommin.

When he visits France in mid-March Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin will present the government’s plan to investors and showcase the opportunities that await. “The goal is to promote the idea that Thailand is set to undergo the biggest infrastructure investment in 20 years,” said Mr Prommin.

As part of that efforts, Mr Srettha on Friday will announce a development plan to make Thailand a regional aviation hub. This plan expands on details previously mentioned during the “Ignite Thailand” event last week, said Mr Prommin.

“To position Thailand as an aviation hub, the government is set to utilise the capabilities and assets of Thais to develop existing airports and invest in the expansion of new airports, such as Lanna airport and Andaman airport,” he said.

Apart from airport upgrades, the government is pushing for other infrastructure projects and accelerating delayed projects, such as the Thailand-China high-speed railway, which the administration affirms will be completed during its tenure, said Mr Prommin.

Other projects comprise the high-speed train connecting Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-tapao airports, and the U-tapao expansion project.

“The government is moving forward with these projects, as new investors are interested in investing in the EEC. This includes expanding road infrastructure and rail systems to support increased investment and tourism in the future,” said Mr Prommin.

“Funding sources to finance the investments will stem from the government’s fiscal budgets and public-private partnerships.”

Turning to the southern Land Bridge project, Mr Prommin said there had been significant interest from foreign investors, including those from Germany and the US.

As well, he said, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had expressed great interest in the project during his visit to Thailand and requested additional information.

“This government is compensating for lost decades. In the short term, we need income from tourism, which represents 17-20% of the country’s GDP. Investments are considered long-term returns the country will benefit from,” said Mr Prommin.

“Thailand has the potential to become a transport and logistics hub. What the government is doing will stimulate the biggest investment in 20 years by inviting people to invest as much as possible, enabling us to compete with rival countries.

“With the domestic political climate recovering, we need to adapt for economic recovery by entering markets and creating new opportunities for Thailand.”

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