U.S. and Thailand sign infrastructure framework

Thailand and the United States exchanged signed copies last week of their new Framework to Strengthen Infrastructure Finance and Market Building Cooperation, an agreement that should better facilitate private-sector investment in the Kingdom’s building boom.

Minister Arkom Termpittayapaisith, Ministerof Finance, and Ambassador Michael George DeSombre, U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, attended the signing ceremony in the Thai capital while both sides convened their inaugural Energy Policy Dialogue in a virtual format with government representatives in Bangkok and Washington, D.C. taking part.

Thailand is in the midst of a $100-billion infrastructure upgrade designed to advance the Kingdom’s competitiveness for decades to come. The Thai government has been successfully using a public-private-partnership model to fund the construction or expansion of roads, rail lines, ports and airports. Thai officials have said that more investment from the United States would be greatly appreciated.

“This framework supports economic growth and our shared goals to meet infrastructure needs through market-oriented, private sector investment in Thailand and across Southeast Asia,” said U.S. Treasury Assistant Secretary, Mitchell Silk, who signed the agreement on behalf of the American government.

The agreement addresses regulatory, market, and legal barriers to private sector investment by focusing on developing financial instruments, project finance, the local debt market, and capital markets.

Representatives of both governments also met virtually for the energy policy dialogue. The discussions centered on strengthening cooperation on an issue that affects their economies, development, and above all, the environment.

“The United States reaffirmed its commitment to support Thailand in realizing its vision of becoming a regional energy hub,” Ambassador DeSombre said about the discussions.

“This will create commercial opportunities for both American and Thai companies and improve the business operating environment in the region through broader access to more reliable, less expensive sources of energy,” Ambassador DeSombre added.

Photo courtesy of https://www.thaigov.go.th/news/contents/details/36251