MONDAY, April 15, 2024

Agency hopes Thailand's new govt will continue funding 4 key regional projects

Agency hopes Thailand's new govt will continue funding 4 key regional projects

The Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA) said it will ask the new government to support the four new infrastructure projects Thailand is working on with neighbouring countries.

One of the key projects is the R12 Highway linking Nakhon Phanom province to Laos’ Thakhek City and terminating in Vietnam’s Quảng Bình province, NEDA president Peerames Vudthitornetiraks said on Friday.

“To build the 147-kilometre-long highway, Laos will require financial support of 1.83 billion baht, which we plan to ask the new government to issue as a loan to the neighbouring country,” he said. “Once the loan is approved, construction can be completed in 36 months.”

Another key project involves the improvement of the NR67 Highway covering the 134.6 kilometres between Cambodia’s Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey provinces. The 983 million baht required for this project will be provided as a loan from Thailand, which was approved by the outgoing government in November last year.

Peerames said the improvement of the NR67 highway, which links to Thailand’s Sa Kaew province, will benefit the public transport and logistics industries as it passes through several economic hubs including Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Poi Pet and Banteay Meanchey.

The highway also links Thailand to Vietnam’s Southern Economic Corridor area, which should help expand the market and supply chain for Thai manufacturers, he added. Vietnam’s Southern Economic Corridor is part of the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Corridor.

The other two projects, which are still at the studying and planning level, are building the Stung Bot permanent border checkpoint at the Sa Kaew-Cambodia border and improving the NR68 Highway linking Surin province with Cambodia’s Samraong and Siem Reap provinces.

NEDA is currently supervising 90 infrastructure projects with seven neighbouring countries, towards which Thailand has contributed a total of 22.28 billion baht.

The agency expects to grant an additional 3 billion baht to neighbouring countries this year and next for these projects to be continued.

In a bid to alleviate the government’s financial burden, NEDA will also issue a 10-year social bond next year, which should raise another 1.5 billion baht to support current and future infrastructure projects, Peerames said.