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The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed an ODA loan agreement totalling ¥35.453bn (US$330mn) with the Kingdom of Thailand. The loan will finance the second Bangkok International Airport development project (VII) that will be implemented by the New Bangkok International Airport Company.

The loan will finance the seventh phase of the project that is the construction of the international airport in Nong Ngu Hao, 30km east of Bangkok. The airport will have terminals capable of handling 45mn passengers and 2.12mn tons of freight annually and two runways in the east and in the west. JBIC supported the previous six phases of the project by providing ODA loans from the fiscal years 1996 to 2004 – this will be the final loan.

Demand for air transport in both tourism and cargo is a reflection of the recent economic growth in Thailand. Bangkok is at the centre of the Indochina Peninsula and is increasing its importance as a gateway to the Mekong basin countries. Therefore the new airport is expected to function as an international hub in Southeast Asia.

In a medium-term strategy document JBIC has placed one of the priorities of its concessional ODA loans for Thailand on “developing urban infrastructure, including improvement in the urban environment.”