Basic infrastructure investment to exceed Bt3 trillion

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BANGKOK, Oct 27 – Thailand’s investment in constructing and improving basic infrastructure projects undertaken by the Transport Ministry will exceed Bt3 trillion, according to Transport Minister ACM Prajin Juntong. 

Air Chief Marshal Prajin said an eight-year strategic plan, expected to start from the first quarter of 2015, also involves construction of dual-track rail routes likely to begin in 2016.

When finished, the dual-track rail routes would account for 22.3 per cent of the total rail route distance in Thailand.

ACM Prajin said the ministry would accelerate electric-powered train projects aimed at solving traffic congestion as well as developing highways and motorways, construction of new harbours, expanding Suvannabhumi Airport under Phase 2 and Don Mueang Airport as well.

Deputy Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, meanwhile, said the interim government has indicated that construction contracts for all the delayed projects would be signed in December while actual construction could start during the first quarter of 2015.

Mr Arkhom, also secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), said he is confident Thailand’s exports in 2015 would grow more than 5 per cent and this would help push the country’s economic growth to exceed the 3.5-4.5 per cent level projected earlier by NESDB.

Mr Arkhom said Thailand’s growth next year is expected to be rosy after the International Monetary Fund recently revised world economic growth projection to 3.8 per cent from 3.3 per cent for next year while the World Bank also adjusted global economic growth to 3.2  from 2.6 per cent.