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21/05/2008 - Thailand plans to spend billions on mega projects.  21/05/2008 - Thailand plans to spend billions on mega projects.

A senior finance ministry official has said that the government of Thailand has plans to spend up to 1.8 trillion Baht (564 billion US dollars) on Thailand infrastructure between 2008 and 2011.

The government has previously stated that they plan to accelerate infrastructure projects in the hope of boosting the economy which has suffered since the 2006 military coup.

Public Debt Management director Pongpanu Svetarundra told reporters, The projects include a major extension to Bangkok´s mass transit system. This will cost in the region of 770 billion Baht (24 billion US Dollars) and the cost will be met by money from domestic loans, bond issues and foreign borrowings.

"Apart from Jbic's loans, we are also looking at other foreign institutions," Pongpanu said of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

Earlier this year the government said it planned to issue 95 billion Baht (3 billion US dollars) in 30 year bonds to finance the project. The first 2.5 billion baht (78 million US Dollars) was sold in April 2008 to test market demand and the second 2.5 billion baht issue is planned for June.

Thailand´s mega projects were initiated by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra but were stalled when he was ousted in the 2006 coup. His plans also included funding for public housing, energy and airport development.

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