Almost not a day goes past without the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) being in the Thailand news. At the centre of the Thailand government’s move to Industry 4.0, the EEC is designed to lead the country from a manufacturing and agrarian society to one of technology and innovation, propelling the country to a high income economy.
Stretching across the provinces of Chonburi, Rayong, and Chachoengsao, the Eastern Economic Corridor covers some 13, 285 square kilometres (about 5,129 sq. miles) which the government has pegged to attract more than Bt1.5 trillion (about US$46 billion) in foreign investment, pushing annual GDP growth to about 5 per cent a year by 2020.
Enshrined in the ruling junta’s 20-year plan, the Eastern Economic Corridor incorporates Laem Chabang Deep-Sea Port, U-Tapao International Airport, and is slated to see dual-tracking of the existing rail line, plus a new high-sped train, running all the way to Rayong, the Eastern Seaboard’s current major commercial and manufacturing zone.
Plans for the Eastern Economic Corridor see U-Tapao International Airport being developed to support 15 million passengers in the first five years and 60 million passengers within 15 years. A rail link connecting it with Don Mueang International Airport, and Suvarnabhumi International Airport by 2023 is also planned.
Some Bt88 billion ($2.68 billion) is slated for developing Laem Chabang Deep-Sea Port to enable up to eight million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year and three million cars annually.
Among the industries the government hopes to attract to the Eastern Economic Corridor are those in bio-economy, automobile parts, electronic, and robotics, aviation maintenance and parts manufacturing, just to name a few.
In addition to infrastructure development, Thailand is also providing generous incentives to foreign investors including, zero per cent corporate income tax for up to 15 years, a maximum personal income tax rate of 15 per cent for IHQ or ITC staff, five-year work permits, and long term land lease agreements.
Saowaruj Rattanakhamfu, a researcher at Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) said the Eastern Economic Corridor should prove attractive to foreign investors due to the existing and planned infrastructure projects that will strengthen the existing links between Thailand and the region, and Thailand and the rest of the world.
To date strong interest in the Eastern Economic Corridor has been shown by both Chinese and Japanese business delegations, with the video at the top of the page just the latest primer produced by the Thai government to promote the project. Sit back and see what Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor has to offer.
Feature video Think Asia, Invest Thailand
- HNA eyes US$43b Thai economic zone as it aligns shopping spree with China’s state policies (South China Morning Post)
- Japanese flag interest in EEC (The Nation)
- Thailand Board of Investment Offers More Attractive Incentives for SMEs and Identifies List of Targeted Industries in EECi and EECd (PR Newswire)