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