Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thailand Transport Sector Assessment, Strategy, and Road Map

This sector assessment, strategy, and road map (ASR) represents the current assessment and strategic investment priorities of the Government of Thailand and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Thailand’s transport sector. It highlights sector performance, needs, constraints, and present government plans and strategies. The ASR will be linked to the ADB country partnership strategy (CPS) for Thailand, 2012–2016. It is also aligned with the vision and strategies of the country’s draft 11th National Economic and Social Development Plan, 2012–2016.1 This ASR may need to be updated in accordance with any changes in government policy during the finalization of the 11th Plan. This ASR focuses on three transport subsectors: (i) roads, (ii) rail, and (iii) urban transport. It is a working paper that reflects ADB’s experiences and was developed through consultations with government agencies and development partners. Key extracts of the ASR will be included in the next CPS for Thailand.

Thailand’s economy is heavily dependent on external trade, with exports representing over 60% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2007 (footnote 1). Although economic growth has declined in recent years, from 4.8% in 2007 to –2.7% in 2009, the current global economic recovery has significantly strengthened export trade volumes. The export-dependent nature of Thailand’s economy, with recent structural changes toward a higher share of value-added manufactured goods and level of global trading, requires a strong supportive and integrated transport and trade facilitation system.

Thailand’s transport sector contributes 1% to the country’s economy. Exports contributed over 60% to Thailand’s GDP in 2007, and the transport sector underpins this notable export performance. The road subsector dominated the transport sector with an estimated 95%8 of the freight and 98% of passengers.

In terms of physical development, the road network also dominates, with an estimated total length of 202,000 kilometers (km). The length of the rail network is 4,043 km. The length of coastline is 2,614 km, and navigable inland waterways represent only about 1,750 km. Thus, the road network is the most developed, with about 98% of roads, including village access roads, being paved.

Passenger transport in Thailand is dominated by personal vehicles (primarily cars and pickup trucks) and motorcycles. National personal vehicle ownership (expressed as in-use vehicles per thousand population) was growing at an average of 8%–10% per year from 1999 to 2007, and this trend is expected to continue.

In Bangkok, cars and pickup trucks are the most prevalent, with 388 vehicles per 1,000 population, compared to 220 motorcycles per 1,000 persons. Motorcycles are dominant in areas outside of Bangkok, with 159 motorcycles and 112 cars or pickup trucks per 1,000 population. With the continuing per capita income growth, it is expected that ownership of four-wheel vehicles will grow faster than motorcycle ownership.

ADB.December 2011.Type: Country Planning Documents.Country: Thailand.Subject: ADB administration and governance; Transport and ICT. ISBN:978-92-9092-415-9 (print), 978-92-9092-416-6 (web).

For more information about Projects in Thailand see SOUTHEASTERN ASIA Projects