Thailand gives priority to Eastern Economic Corridor development

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All pictures © Arno Maierbrugger

Thailand is keen to develop its industrial heartland in the southeastern provinces of Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao into what it calls the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) which aims at becoming one of the most modern economic zones in the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. or ASEAN.

To that end, the Thai government approved a five-year investment plan worth 1.5 trillion baht (41.6 billion) from 2017 to 2012 consisting of 15 projects.

At the core of the plan stands the development of U Tapao International Airport, which grew from a US military base in the Vietnam War to a busy airport hub for the region with an envisaged capacity of five million passengers a year, up from the current 800,000. The development includes the construction an airport city dubbed  “Eastern Aviation City” over more than 1,000 hectares at a cost of 200 billion baht ($5.5 billion) over five years.

The airport city would become an aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul center and an air cargo and logistics hub.

Another priority project is the expansion of Thailand’s largest sea port Laem Chabang. The port, founded in 1961 to support Bangkok Port – which could no longer handle ever-enlarged vessels at that time – grew over the decades to Thailand’s busiest seaports and one of the largest container ports in the world spanning over an area of 1,026 hectares.

In Phase 3 of Laem Chabang’s expansion, the Thai government plans to develop the port into a maritime hub of Southeast Asia and a main gateway to the mainland, connecting it with transport networks such as a planned new high speed railway.

The development of the port will increase its handling capacity from currently seven million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) to 18 million TEU. As part of the Thailand 4.0 digital initiative, the port will also be equipped with smart logistics facilities to transform it into a transshipment hub for freight distribution and collection.

Due to its proximity to the holiday destination of Pattaya and other beach resort towns in the region, Laem Chabang Port has become a port of call for cruise ships from companies such as Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.

Next, a “Digital Park” is planned to be set up in Sriracha in Chonburi which could house a trade and logistics center for China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, as well as other IT and computer companies. The project, named “Fifth generation e-commerce park”, would also house production plants for Thai and foreign small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Thai government will grant a number of corporate and tax incentives to attract foreign investors to the EEC, among which companies from Asia, Europe (among them BMW and Toyota) and the US have shown interest. However, a master development plan of connecting the EEC with neighbouring countries Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam has yet to be set up.

Overall, the EEC is designed to accommodate ten target industries, which are next-generation cars; smart electronics; affluent, medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; food; industry robotics; logistics and aviation; biofuels and biochemicals; digital; and medical services.

in full swing, would help expand Thailand’s GDP by five percent annually and create around 100,000 new jobs. The airport expansion by a new terminal should also significantly increase the number of tourists coming to Thailand.

 

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[caption id="attachment_29694" align="alignleft" width="850"] All pictures © Arno Maierbrugger[/caption] Thailand is keen to develop its industrial heartland in the southeastern provinces of Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao into what it calls the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) which aims at becoming one of the most modern economic zones in the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. or ASEAN. To that end, the Thai government approved a five-year investment plan worth 1.5 trillion baht (41.6 billion) from 2017 to 2012 consisting of 15 projects. At the core of the plan stands the development of U Tapao International Airport, which grew from a US...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

All pictures © Arno Maierbrugger

Thailand is keen to develop its industrial heartland in the southeastern provinces of Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao into what it calls the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) which aims at becoming one of the most modern economic zones in the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. or ASEAN.

To that end, the Thai government approved a five-year investment plan worth 1.5 trillion baht (41.6 billion) from 2017 to 2012 consisting of 15 projects.

At the core of the plan stands the development of U Tapao International Airport, which grew from a US military base in the Vietnam War to a busy airport hub for the region with an envisaged capacity of five million passengers a year, up from the current 800,000. The development includes the construction an airport city dubbed  “Eastern Aviation City” over more than 1,000 hectares at a cost of 200 billion baht ($5.5 billion) over five years.

The airport city would become an aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul center and an air cargo and logistics hub.

Another priority project is the expansion of Thailand’s largest sea port Laem Chabang. The port, founded in 1961 to support Bangkok Port – which could no longer handle ever-enlarged vessels at that time – grew over the decades to Thailand’s busiest seaports and one of the largest container ports in the world spanning over an area of 1,026 hectares.

In Phase 3 of Laem Chabang’s expansion, the Thai government plans to develop the port into a maritime hub of Southeast Asia and a main gateway to the mainland, connecting it with transport networks such as a planned new high speed railway.

The development of the port will increase its handling capacity from currently seven million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) to 18 million TEU. As part of the Thailand 4.0 digital initiative, the port will also be equipped with smart logistics facilities to transform it into a transshipment hub for freight distribution and collection.

Due to its proximity to the holiday destination of Pattaya and other beach resort towns in the region, Laem Chabang Port has become a port of call for cruise ships from companies such as Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.

Next, a “Digital Park” is planned to be set up in Sriracha in Chonburi which could house a trade and logistics center for China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, as well as other IT and computer companies. The project, named “Fifth generation e-commerce park”, would also house production plants for Thai and foreign small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Thai government will grant a number of corporate and tax incentives to attract foreign investors to the EEC, among which companies from Asia, Europe (among them BMW and Toyota) and the US have shown interest. However, a master development plan of connecting the EEC with neighbouring countries Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam has yet to be set up.

Overall, the EEC is designed to accommodate ten target industries, which are next-generation cars; smart electronics; affluent, medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; food; industry robotics; logistics and aviation; biofuels and biochemicals; digital; and medical services.

in full swing, would help expand Thailand’s GDP by five percent annually and create around 100,000 new jobs. The airport expansion by a new terminal should also significantly increase the number of tourists coming to Thailand.

 

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