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Thailand to build multipurpose complex of land for Savannakhet

Photo: Savannakhet city

Tags to sign contract for Laos complex


Thai Airports Ground Services (Tags) is about to seal a contract to develop a multipurpose complex on 3,000 rai of land in the southern Lao province of Savannakhet in a bid to find new sources of income after failing to win ground services contracts at Suvarnabhumi airport, its managing director said yesterday. Anuphong Rojnuckarin said he is due to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Lao government tomorrow to secure the commercial development project that would be part of Laos' special economic zone in Savannakhet. Thanks to the economic zone project, which should be facilitated by the second Thai-Lao bridge stretching across the Mekong River from Mukdahan province to Savannakhet, the planned complex will feature entertainment venues, a university, residential units and playgrounds. The Lao government will put up 30% of the investment costs, with Tags picking up the rest.

There are strong hopes that the new bridge, which will be officially opened on Dec 20, will help boost the economies of the two provinces. Laos has set up a special economic zone to tap benefits from the bridge and improved roads from Thailand, through Laos to Vietnam.

Mr Anuphong said Tags was looking for new business opportunities overseas as its income had been in decline since failing to win ground services contracts at the new airport. The company was in charge of ground services at Don Muang airport until it was closed earlier this year.

Tags will post income of about two billion baht for 2006, but next year the prospect is expected to drop to 1.5 billion baht, he said. To offset the drop in income, Tags is also planning projects in Burma, East Timor and the Middle East as well as Laos, focussing on its main business of airport management.

Tags is currently on a 10-year contract with Airports of Thailand Plc to manage the airport's free zone and is also contracted to Thai Airways International (THAI) to administer over 400 workers in THAI lounges for the next three years


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