At the 7th Ayeyawady – Chao Phraya – Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Summit in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Bangkok (VNA)
– Thailand plans to take the lead in creating a regional fund with its neighbours, including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, to back infrastructure and other development projects.

Arthayudh Srisamoot, deputy permanent secretary of Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is expected to propose the idea to the leaders of the five countries at the 8th summit of the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) in Thailand on June 16.

The fund will be operational by 2019, he said, adding that Thailand is set to contribute a substantive initial figure.

It will raise money through the stock and bond markets by issuing debt for projects such as in power generation as initiated by ACMECS.

Contributions from financial institutions and countries outside the ACMECS framework are also welcome.

Although details are yet to be discussed, member countries will control the fund by establishing a joint management committee.

The proposed fund will be used for projects pursued under ACMECS' 2019-2023 master plan that will be adopted during the June 16 summit. 

The plan focuses on enhancing connectivity among the five countries by upgrading the East-West and North-South economic corridors. 

The five nations will work together to develop information technology platforms which could also be financed by the fund.

Currently, ASEAN countries receive external funding mainly through bilateral agreements with parties outside the region or from international financial institutions such as the Asian Development Bank.-VNA