Northeast SEZs in store, says industry minister

Northeast SEZs in store, says industry minister

Mr Suriya had his first day at the Industry Ministry on Friday.
Mr Suriya had his first day at the Industry Ministry on Friday.

Special economic zones are set to expand to the Northeast to support the provincial economy and reduce income disparity, says Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit.

He said the ministry wants to bring a version of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme to the region with new special economic zones.

"This concept is under discussion with Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak," Mr Suriya said. "We have to decide on the relevant economic measures for the Industry Ministry before the government delivers its policy platform to parliament on July 25."

He said the EEC scheme is expected to help locals earn higher income and create new jobs in the three initial host provinces: Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong.

Ministry officials plan to visit the EEC and the northeastern provinces soon.

Mr Suriya said he is preparing and revising the ministry's strategies and plans, expecting to announce the revised agenda within 100 days.

"The measures for small and medium-sized enterprises will be revised as well," he said.

The industry minister said the economy in the second half of 2019 will improve further after the new government speeds up public projects and stimulates investment.

"Although this coalition government's slow establishment has caused a decline in investment and business confidence, the country has a new administration, so I believe that investors and business operators can confidently make decisions going forward," Mr Suriya said.

He said the Industry Ministry plans to allocate public funds to improve human resources through training programmes and skills improvement schemes for labourers.

The ministry will team up with the Federation of Thai Industries to push forward with the plan.

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