Thai private sector encouraged to invest in mega projects

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BANGKOK, Aug 4 — Thailand’s Ministry of Finance is encouraging the country’s private sector to invest in the government’s mega projects.

The Ministry of Finance is wooing the private sector to co-invest in the government’s mega projects.

It will have laws passed and set up a Bt16 billion infrastructure fund to effectively attract private participation.

Rungson Sriworasat, permanent secretary for finance, said in a seminar on the law governing private participation in government projects that as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) approved a strategic plan to invest Bt2.4 trillion in infrastructure development projects, the Ministry of Finance would ask the council to pass relevant laws to encourage the private sector to co-invest in them.

Kulit Sombatsiri, director-general of the State Enterprise Policy Office, said the new laws would be organic laws of the private investment participation law. They would be issued within this year to set criteria for the evaluation of investment projects.

He said that the Ministry of Finance plans to have the private sector bear 20 per cent of the investment in infrastructure projects worth 2.4 trillion baht and the implementation of the projects can start when the organic laws are passed.

Additionally, the ministry will support the establishment of an infrastructure development fund that will help pay for the infrastructure development.

Mr Kulit said that the fund establishment would begin with the revival of the infrastructure development fund of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and then other state enterprises would be encouraged to raise funds for their infrastructure projects through the revived fund.

He cited the Expressway Authority of Thailand, Airports of Thailand and the Port Authority of Thailand as state enterprises which involved large-scale infrastructure development projects including the expansion of the Laem Chabang Port.