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Thailand must start six EEC infrastructure projects this year

To keep the momentum going, the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak, has instructed the Eastern Economic Corridor Policy Committee (EECPC) to ensure that six key infrastructure projects in the region begin this year.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) continues to attract more investors. Last year, the EEC generated over 100 billion baht from outside investment.

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To keep the momentum going, the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak, has instructed the Eastern Economic Corridor Policy Committee (EECPC) to ensure that six key infrastructure projects in the region begin this year.

The six projects encompass the high-speed train route linking Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao airports; U-tapao airport; a center to handle the maintenance, repair and overhaul of planes; the third phase of Map Ta Phut port; the third phase of Laem Chabang port and the development of Digital Park Thailand (EECd).

These projects will be implemented in line with the Smart City project in Chachoengsao province to attract new investment.

 Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) map
EEC project map

Once the projects are underway, they will benefit the grassroots economy in the three provinces of Chachoengsao, Chonburi and Rayong. The Board of Investment (BOI) has been assigned to create an incentive package to promote investment and encourage the private sector to support grassroots economic development through agriculture and tourism.

The Ministry of Finance and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will work together to develop 300,000 to 400,000 Smart Farmers nationwide. Currently, Thailand has 100,000 Smart Farmers.

The government has set a target of 10 million tourists arriving at U-Tapao airport; the establishment of partnerships between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and major businesses, and reducing the number of low-income earners in the EEC from 350,000 people to zero within three years.

Speaking of the tensions between the United States and Iran, Dr. Somkid said the issue is an external factor. Even if the tensions don’t escalate, they may still affect oil prices. However, Thailand had been in similar situations before, and the government is ready to handle developments.

The Secretary-General of the EECPC, Kanit Sangsubhan, said today the government has expedited EEC development through legal measures and infrastructure projects. They will generate 300 billion baht for the economy annually and contribute to gross domestic product (GDP) growth by 1.5 to 2% each year.

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50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.

The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.

Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.

The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.

The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.

The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.

Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.

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