One of the factors that drive investment into a country is infrastructure development. Thailand’s rapidly growing economy is certainly indicative of significant infrastructural developments in the country. Investors would do well to keep an eye out for Thailand’s infrastructure projects because it can open various opportunities for them in the future.
Thailand is definitely in the right track to becoming a major Asian economic power. The country is currently initiating infrastructure projects that will turn it into an Asian Economic Community hub. These projects have been initiated just this year, and are set to be completed in 8 years. In 2022, Thailand will become one of the biggest economies in the region, and will serve a major role in inter-country economic cooperation through the AEC.
These projects were initiated upon approval of the military government. In July 2014, the ruling military government gave its seal of approval to the project. The entire undertaking would cost US$73 million over the next 8 years. The project will be implemented using funds from the government treasury instead of being funded by loans secured from foreign sources.
The 8-year master plan called for the upgrading of the country’s rail lines. The country’s rail network has long been neglected. Previous governments have attempted to introduce measures to upgrade the rail network, particularly the current government’s direct predecessor that had created a 7-master plan for the country’s rail lines. Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s master plan was rejected by the ruling military government, citing unethical fiscal practices.
In any case, the government has gave the green light for developments that will not only upgrade the rail lines in Thailand, but to introduce architectural developments that will link Thailand by train to other countries, including Myanmar, Singapore and China. These developments will form the second phase of the infrastructural development and are set to commence in 2019.
The first phase, however, will deal with the renovation and upgrading of the country’s existing rail network. The government is looking at developing an expansive rail network that consists of 10 routes. These new routes are designed to free up the central business districts and reduce traffic in those areas. The first phase was scheduled to begin in October 2014, the first month of Thailand’s 2015 fiscal year. The government is looking to complete these projects by 2021, and has allocated THB700 billion for this segment of the development plan.
The current government has not put into its plans the development of a high speed railway system, however. The junta wants to first initiate a feasibility study into that particular development before coming up with the plans to commence the construction of high speed rail links.
With Thailand set to become a major AEC hub, the markets will open up for both local and foreign investors. The influx of business brought by the future inter-country railway system proposed by the current government will also open up markets in the hospitality, food and transportation sectors.
Indeed, at the completion of these projects in the next 8 years, investors will be looking at a more robust Thai economy.