Support for EEC-area SMEs

Support for EEC-area SMEs

The Industry Ministry has agreed with local business operators to issue new measures for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in eight eastern provinces in line with the government's flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme.

The local SMEs are in Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong -- the three EEC provinces -- and in the surrounding provinces of Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, Chanthaburi and Trat.

The local SMEs operate in green automotive, agro industry management and aviation.

The implementation of the EEC scheme is expected to create new startups and SMEs that will boost local economies.

Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana said the government aims to connect many investment projects in the EEC scheme with local businesses for mutual benefits.

"Three sectors will play a key role in supporting and promoting new startups and SMEs, and the government is ready to help them with access to financial measures," he said.

Yesterday, Mr Uttama visited Chon Buri to join the EEC meeting with local government agencies and business operators.

Within the EEC, the government also has the Eastern Fruit Corridor (EFC) scheme, which will be the country's first fruits auction market.

The EFC will be in the Smart Park Industrial Estate in Rayong, for which the government expects to invest 1.58 billion baht.

"This project will help increase farm incomes and create value-added agricultural products," Mr Uttama said.

He said the EEC panel will propose the 12th targeted industry plan for a circular economy today for the prime minister to acknowledge and approve. The circular economy touts friendly environment investment projects and uses waste output to create new products.

"We believe that it will help the country's economy for a sustainable growth outlook," Mr Uttama said.

Charnkrij Dejvitak, the eastern regional chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, said the private sector has called for the government to promote and support electric vehicles, charging stations and R&D centres for the automotive industry.

"We predict the EEC will create 5,720 new SMEs and 31,700 startups during 2018-21, add 175,900 employees to the industrial sector and generate 56 billion baht," Mr Charnkrij said.

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