IEAT readies B39bn budget
The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) has prepared an investment budget of 39 billion baht for fiscal 2019, starting this month, to develop infrastructure projects in the government's flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme and industrial zones across the country.
Some 27 billion baht of the total budget is allocated to three EEC provinces: Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong.
The remaining 12 billion baht is for industrial estates in other provinces.
Newly appointed governor Somchint Pilouk said the agency has been keen on developing the EEC scheme since the EEC Act was enacted in May.
The IEAT will host the development of two EEC-related megaprojects: the third phase of the Map Ta Phut seaport, worth 47.9 billion baht, on 1,000 rai; and Smart Park Industrial Estate on 1,500 rai.
"Both megaprojects in Rayong will be allocated 12 billion baht each from the government side in the form of public-private partnership," she said.
The PPP offers 70% ownership to private entities, with the government owning the remaining stake.
"This seaport is set to connect Thailand and other countries through exports, while the Thai government aims to develop the most modern port in Southeast Asia," Ms Somchint said.
She said the smart park project is scheduled to be developed within this fiscal year, also in EEC provinces.
The IEAT is maintaining the government's special economic zone (SEZ) initiative, even as the EEC has become the focus in the past couple of years, Ms Somchint said.
The SEZ scheme began in 2015 in 10 provinces: Tak, Trat, Mukdahan, Sa Kaeo, Songkhla, Chiang Rai, Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom, Kanchanaburi and Narathiwat. The programme is aimed at improving the local economy in border provinces.
Only the Sa Kaeo and Songkhla SEZs are well developed, while other provinces have unclear plans.
"We will focus on the two developed SEZs and attract new investments to those locations," Ms Somchint said.
Separately, the IEAT reported that land sales dropped by 54% to 1,377 rai in the last fiscal year, which ended in September. Value for the period stood at 28 billion baht, down 76% from a year earlier.