BANGKOK, 18th September 2013 The 2 trillion baht infrastructure project is essential in laying the foundations for Thailand’s trade and investments in preparation for the AEC and should be pushed forward, according to NIDA.
According to Prof. Dr. Montree Socatiyanurak, Director of MPA Executive Program at NIDA, the project gives the Ministry of Finance the authority to take out a 2.2 trillion baht loan for the development of infrastructure projects, especially for transport and logistics. It will also allow opportunities for trade and investment as well as give Thailand an edge as it will make Thailand a central hub for transport and logistics in the ASEAN region
Thailand has an advantage over other nations in Asean in terms of location; a one-hour flight from Bangkok covers 300 million people of the Asean population. A three-hour one covers 1 billion, and a five-hour one will cover the entire population of China and India combined, over 3.1 billion people altogether.
The government has insisted that this is Thailand’s chance to upgrade its infrastructure to an international standard and gain maximum benefits from its geographic location. As for the controversial issue of the source of funds for the 2 trillion baht project, Dr Montree said that the government should take out a loan rather than attach it to the annual fiscal budget to ensure the continuity of the project.