China wants EEC estate land
A group of Chinese investors, led by representatives of China's government, has expressed interest in buying 10,000 rai of industrial estate land in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) to create its own community and improve its supply chain in Asean.
The Chinese government and private sector held talks a few weeks ago with the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) about staying in the same industrial estate development area.
IEAT governor Somchint Pilouk said China wants to create its own community inside the EEC to serve investors and supply chains from China to Asean.
The Chinese government and investors want the Thai government to find a 10,000-rai plot in the EEC for their purchase, but Ms Somchint said finding a single plot so large will be difficult.
Chinese investors are expanding their investment in Asean, focused on the 12 targeted industries that the government wants to promote.
Rayong, Chon Buri and Chachoengsao are the three provinces that the investors are focused on, Ms Somchint said.
"We expect the Chinese government to bring more than 500 businesses in as investors in the special economic zone," she said.
The IEAT has teamed up with 16 corporations and state governments to launch a community development project to support 10 local communities around the industrial estate, expecting to create 1,000 jobs for local people in the next three years.
Sixteen organisations are involved in the effort, including the IEAT, the National Food Institute, Prince of Songkla University, the Federation of Thai Industries, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand, Government Savings Bank and Amata Corporation.
Somchai Harnhirun, the deputy industry minister, said the government wants to create new jobs for locals, increase their income and improve quality of life.
Mr Somchai said the government has set up 10 industrial estates nationwide to promote community development: Bang Poo, Bang Chan, Bang Pa-in, Saharattananakhon, Sinsakhon, Bang Phli, Ban Wa, Samut Sakhon, Ladkrabang and Amata.
The government will provide training programmes in product design and development to help locals improve their skills.