Staff reporter

The Ministry of Transport said it will push ahead with its 300 billion baht infrastructure development investment projects in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) in 2018.

It is confirmed that a total of 700 billion baht investment had been already made in the planned economic zone by the private sector, the ministry said.

Minister of Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said in his special speech at the national chambers of commerce conference in Surat Thani that low investment figures over the past years by the government sector was caused by a slow budget spending in the state agencies and the lack of new investment projects in private sector.

He said his ministry had allocated a total investment budget of 309.6 billion baht for projects to improve infrastructures, including roads, rail, water, and air transports development.

A total of 103 projects on transportation development to support the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) with a total investment cost of 745.71 billion baht are also in place for 2017-2021. These include the renovation of U-Tapao airport to better serve as an international airport, the establishment of an aircraft maintenance center, all of which will help enhance Thailand as a regional aviation hub.

Regarding the preparation of the common ticket system which will allow passengers to pay for different modes of transportation using one single card, the state authorities are in the process of negotiations with related agencies and business partners. It is expected that the common ticket system will be online and take effect in mid-2018.