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THAILAND INVESTMENT > Infrastructure
  Why Thailand?

For more than two decades, successive Thai governments have understood that for Thailand to be attractive to foreign investors there needs to be both progressive investment promotion policies and sufficient infrastructure.

Accordingly, just as the Board of Investment developed policies to meet the needs of investors, the government has continuously improved the nation's infrastructure, both in Bangkok and the provinces. Indeed, in recent years, tremendous strides have been made, especially in transportation projects.

New roads have been built and others widened to better handle the number of vehicles on the roads, and as a result, travel times to Thailand's Eastern Seaboard and southern seaside resorts have been significantly reduced. Bangkok's two mass transit systems continue to have a positive effect on traffic and both lines of the BTS Skytrain are in the process of being expanded, with additional lines of the subway system approved by the government and now in the bidding process. In addition, the new Suvarnabhumi International Airport which opened on September 28, 2006 continues to meet with approval of air travelers, being ranked one of the ten best in the world for 2010.

 
   
  Airports

Thailand has developed an extensive air transport network that encompasses 28 commercial airports, meaning that all Thailand's regions are about an hour's flight from Bangkok.

Suvarnabhumi International Airport, which has a capacity to service 45 million passengers per year, 3 million tons of cargo and 76 flights per hour, is the main gateway into Thailand.  A new domestic passenger terminal is expected to be completed by 2013 and will boost Suvarnabhumi airport's capacity to 65 million passengers per year.

Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok, may be reopened as a domestic air terminal and maintains international standard facilities. It can serve 60 flights/hour, 11.5 million domestic passengers/year and 12,490 tons of domestic cargo/year.

Phuket Airport received government approval in December 2009 for a 5.8-billion-baht (US$175 million) plan to increase capacity to 12.5 million passengers by 2018; on top of the recently completed second terminal, which increased capacity to 6.5 million passengers a year.

Chiang Mai Airport has completed a 2-billion-baht expansion and now has an infrastructure that can handle 8 million passengers a year.

Other international airports include Hat Yai, Chiang Rai and Ko Samui.
 
   
  Road Network

Thailand is widely acknowledged as having the most extensive road transportation network of more than 390,026 kilometers, of which 384,176, or 98.5%, is concrete or asphalt paved, and 51,776 km forming a national highway network connecting each region of the country.

The signing of the Asian Highway Agreement on April 26, 2004 strengthens Thailand's connection to the rest of the world for land-based trade and transportation linking it to 32 countries in Europe and Asia. The importance of these interconnections will increase dramatically as Thailand's free trade agreements with the People's Republic of China, ASEAN and India kick in, making Thailand a crucial hub for international production and trade.

The Greater Mekong area road network already includes a southern economic corridor inclusive of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam; the east-west economic corridor linking Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam; the north-south economic corridor which runs from southern China through Laos, and Myanmar and Thailand; and the southern coastal economic corridor also connecting Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
 
   
  Seaports

Thailand's water transportation system has long been an important part of the country's history and industries. With a coastline of 3,219 km and over 4,000 km of inland waterways, Thailand's water transportation and ports infrastructure are essential to its overall transportation and trade.

There are currently 122 ports, wharves, and jetties able to accommodate sea-going vessels engaging in international trade, including eight international deep sea ports:

These ports, located in Bangkok, Laem Chabang and Map Ta Phut on Thailand's Eastern Seaboard, and Sonkhla, Satun, Narathiwat, Phuket and Ranong in the South, provide capacity of more than 8.5 million TEU, a figure that is expected to continue to grow as current expansion projects are completed.

At Laem Chabang Port, six new container terminals are being developed with state-of-the-art equipment that can handles the latest generation of container vessels

The Laem Chabang Port's services include cargo handling, distribution and handling, and through a cooperative venture between the Port Authority of Thailand and the Customs Department, imports and exports are cleared within one day.
 
   
  Rail and Mass Transit Systems

Thailand's rail transportation, which dates back more than century, is extensive, covering 4,044 kilometers on three lines, intersecting in Bangkok. The system offers affordable transportation from the Malaysian border to northernmost provinces and Kanchanaburi in the west. The system connects with Malaysia's national system, providing direct linkages down to Singapore, and a railway link to across the Mekong is under construction at Nong Khai.

To help alleviate traffic in Bangkok, the government has developed two mass transit systems. operating in Bangkok, with a total length of 42.9 km. The first system, known as the Skytrain (www.bts.co.th), opened on overhead tracks. The system covers 22.9 kilometers, serves 25 stations on two lines, and carries approximately 450,000 passengers per working day, as of June 2009.

In mid-2004, the Bangkok Subway (www.mrta.co.th) opened, providing service at 18 stations over a 20 kilometer distance. The system, which intersects with the Skytrain, can carry 50,000 passengers an hour in each direction.

 
   
  Telecommunications

A wide range of telecommunication facilities are available across the country. Fixed line telephones (offering international direct dial connections at affordable prices) and mobile phones are readily available, and access to the Internet is available though ADSL, satellite modems and dial-up connections.


In recent years, the speed of internet access has increased while costs have declined, and this trend seems certain to continue.

 
   
  International Schools

The government has recognized the need to promote the development of international schools, both to permit the offspring of foreign investors to obtain international-standard education and to facilitate Thai students to prepare for tertiary education abroad. Accordingly, there are numerous schools that follow the American, British and Japanese educational system, and students from these schools are accepted at some of the world's finest universities.

 
  Last updated: 21 July 2010  
 

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Source : Boi