BANGKOK, 10 March 2013 The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) has reasserted the importance of state investment in transport infrastructure, which is essential for Thailand’s development and preparation for entering the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.
OTP Director Chula Sukmanop said Thailand’s infrastructure investment has been low since the 1997-1998 Asian Economic Crisis, even though such a move is significant for its development.
Mr. Chula added both state and private investment has also continued to fall while the government’s investment allocation has also been lower than the standard 25% level for 6 consecutive years.
The OTP Director insists that Thailand is in need for more basic infrastructure investment, particularly in the transport sector, in order to help spur development to other parts of the country and prepare it for the emergence of the AEC in less than 2 years.
Meanwhile, Governor of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) Praphat Jongsanguan said an overhaul of the SRT’s basic service is urgently needed for the change of Thai railway to the dual-track system.
Mr. Praphat said Thai trains are currently running at the speed of 40 kilometers per hour and it is hoped that the speed will be boosted to 100-120 kilometers per hour to facilitate commuters more, in the future.
In addition, he noted that if all investment plans goes on as hoped, Thai railway system will get to switch from diesel to electric power soon.