IEAT targets new Sadao SEZ investment of B20bn
The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) is confident a new special economic zone (SEZ) in Sadao, Songkhla will be able to attract investment worth 20 billion baht and create roughly 6,000 jobs.
The Sadao SEZ will start development in the fourth quarter, said Somchint Pilouk, governor of the IEAT.
For the Sadao SEZ project, the cabinet approved a 1.29-billion-baht budget to establish an industrial estate in that district.
The IEAT will be responsible for developing infrastructure and facilities in the first phase on 629 rai under this budget.
The remaining 298 rai will start being developed in 2020, she said.
The Sadao SEZ has a total area of 927 rai, with combined investment of 2.89 billion baht allotted for the whole project.
"The project will serve logistics, transport and agriculture in that province and it aims to promote the rubber, electronics, textile and garment sectors along with trade along the border in the South," said Ms Somchint.
"This region can connect three countries -- Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia -- as the Thai government sees opportunity in the region and is confident the SEZ will improve the local economy and increase local folks' incomes."
She said the Sadao SEZ is in talks with seven companies for new investment projects in logistics, tourism, agriculture and material-building.
Furthermore, the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle, a sub-regional cooperation initiative, should bring new investors to visit the Sadao SEZ project, said Ms Somchint.
"The government is confident it can fully book the Sadao SEZ through new investors after the project is completed," she 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. It is meant to improve the local economy in border provinces.
Only the Sa Kaeo and Songkhla SEZs have been developed, as the other provinces have unclear plans for their SEZs.
For Sa Kaeo, the project occupies 660 rai of land leased from the Treasury Department since February 2016 and is only 3 kilometres from the Cambodia border in Aranyaprathet district.
The Sa Kaeo SEZ started development in May.
"We will speed up development of the two SEZs to attract new investments to those locations," said Ms Somchint.