Investors pledge B8.5bn for border SEZ projects

Investors pledge B8.5bn for border SEZ projects

A boat is working its way to a pier in Tak's Mae Sot district. 
(Bangkok Post file photo)
A boat is working its way to a pier in Tak's Mae Sot district. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Investment continues to flow into special economic zones (SEZs), with 40 projects worth 8.54 billion baht applying for promotional privileges from the Board of Investment (BoI) as of Feb 28.

Porametee Vimolsiri, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), said of the total applications, 22 projects with 3.541 billion baht worth of investment applied for privileges in Tak's SEZ.

The Tak applications were mainly for plastic packaging, underwear, sportswear and machinery for agricultural purposes. Investors included Chinese, Taiwanese and Myanmar people.

Applications for six projects worth 1.749 billion baht in Songkhla's SEZ were for rubber gloves, ceramics and latex by Thai and Malaysian investors.

Applications for four projects worth 831.50 million baht in Mukdahan's SEZ were for construction materials, plastic bags, animal feed and plastic packaging. Those investors were mostly Thai and Japanese.

Applications for three projects worth 1.278 billion baht in Sa Kaeo's SEZ were for aluminium heat sinks and plastic products.

The remaining applications included two projects worth 639.60 million baht in Kanchanaburi's SEZ for shrimp feed and animal feed, one worth 310 million baht in Nong Khai's SEZ for containers and pallets, one worth 182 million baht in Trat and one worth 16 million baht in Chiang Rai.

Mr Porametee said the government has allocated 6.96 billion baht worth of budget to invest in infrastructure and logistics development in 10 SEZs. The government also set aside 3.3 billion baht to invest in other projects such as customs buildings.

No investment applications have been submitted for the Narathiwat and Nakhon Phanom SEZs. Narathiwat's zone has just begun the process of finding a proper plot owned by the Treasury Department for the industrial estate.

He said in June the NESDB will make a proposal to the Special Economic Zone Policy Committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to open bids for the private sector to rent land on 1,000 rai owned by the Treasury Department to develop as industrial estates in Nakhon Phanom.

SEZ development is a major policy aimed at boosting investment and trade in border areas. Three years ago industrial estates in SEZs in 10 provinces were designated for either agriculture, industry, logistics or tourism. Tak, Sa Kaeo, Trat, Mukdahan, Songkhla and Nong Khai were designated for the first phase. Chiang Rai, Kanchanaburi, Narathiwat and Nakhon Phanom are in the second phase.

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