COVID-19 prompts government to turn to state enterprises’ investment


BANGKOK – The Finance Ministry will discuss the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on Thai Airways International (THAI) and Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) and urge state enterprises to speed up their investment plans to shore up the economy.

Praphat Khong-iad, director of the State Enterprise Policy Office, said COVID-19 caused tourists to cancel their trips, airports were deserted, and airlines were heavily affected.

Early this week, he would discuss the matter with representatives of AoT and THAI and topics would include efforts to restore tourists’ confidence and measures to protect airlines’ businesses, he said.

Mr Praphat said he was looking into the possibility of the government plan to inject its investment worth 100 billion baht into the economy in the first quarter of this year because the 2020 budget was delayed.

He planned to meet the new governor of the State Railway of Thailand to urge for quick investment in several electric railway projects of the state enterprise. He would also ask other state enterprises to speed up their investment projects.

In 2020, state enterprises planned to invest 350 billion baht including 37.28 billion baht that was already disbursed last month, Mr Praphat said.