Thailand’s Central Bank backs Yingluck’s 2 trillion baht infrastructure spending

Thailand’s Finance Ministry and the Central Bank have been discussing Thailand’s 2 trillion baht infrastructure project, reports Prachachart Turakij, a business newspaper in Thailand, where the Central Bank has backed the spending. The spending is targeted to increase Thailand’s logistics competitiveness, and spreading development to the province. Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said Thailand’s infrastructure is lagging behind Malaysia’s and Singapore’s, adding that the 2-trillion-baht project is essential to the country’s development. According to the transport minister, the infrastructure project has to be implemented as soon as possible before Thailand loses its opportunity and competitiveness to become the ASEAN hub. “The country’s infrastructure steadily has been going downhill and is now ranked 49 in the world and third in the ASEAN region; behind Malaysia and Singapore,” he said. “We think time is free, but time is the most expensive commodity,” he says, adding if Thailand wants to be the ASEAN hub for logistics, the project cannot be delayed any further. In addition, he said Thailand has seen quite a drop in its foreign direct investment (FDI) in the past 10 years. It is now ranked number 4 in this region, behind Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, compared to its number two ranking just a few years back. Thailand has seen only a 5-percent increase in its FDI in the past decade, whereas other countries’ have expanded by 11-23 percent. The spending, however, may be blocked by the Thai court. Most neutral observer says the Thai justice system serves the elite establishment, that is against Thaksin and Yingluck. (Source: Prachachart Turakij)

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