Transport Ministry rolling out infrastructure projects worth $45 billion

Thailand’s Ministry of Transport aims to pour funds into 37 infrastructure projects worth a total of $45 billion as part of a national infrastructure upgrade to increase the Kingdom’s competitiveness this year.

Some of the projects had been expected to begin earlier but were delayed because of the economic and public safety impact of the global pandemic. Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, however, has signaled that all systems are now going on the infrastructure rollout.

That presents opportunities for investors, as some of the projects will be funded by public-private partnerships. Bidding for the first ones is expected to take place within weeks or months. Transport and logistics projects make up the lion’s share of Thailand’s $100 billion infrastructure upgrade and expansion that will span many years.

Markets and analysts have responded with optimism to the news. Asia Plus Securities said that the construction business now has a positive outlook for this year because of the government’s go-ahead on launching large-scale projects.

More broadly, building and upgrading infrastructure is intended as a means of raising the Kingdom’s global competitiveness, enhance the sustainability of the country and its economy, and serve as a magnet for foreign investment.

Projects that are already underway will receive $15.7 billion in new funds this year. The Ministry of Transport will spend $29.7 billion on 24 new projects. Among those, $19 billion will be directed to 5 railway projects, $8.5 billion will go to 12 road projects, $1.8 billion for improvements to airports including Don Muang Airport in Bangkok, $230 million to fight coastal erosion and rebuild beaches, and $41 million for a new state-of-the-art logistics center.