Thailand plans $5.4 billion of public-private projects this year

FILE PHOTO: Workers work at a construction site in central Bangkok, Thailand, December 12, 2016. Picture taken December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand plans 163 billion baht ($5.43 billion) of public-private infrastructure projects this year, a finance ministry official said on Tuesday, as the government tries to invest more to support long-term economic growth.

The projects include a subway line extension, a mass transit project and highways rest areas, Panthip Sripimon, head of the State Enterprise Policy Office, said in a statement.

The government has planned public private partnership projects worth 1 trillion baht between 2020 and 2027, she said.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, which is heavily reliant on tourism and exports, shrank 6.1% last year, the biggest drop in more than two decades, as the coronavirus pandemic hit global demand and travel.

The government expects the economy to grow 2.5-3.5% this year.

($1 = 30.03 baht)

Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty