US ventures eager to invest in EEC

US ventures eager to invest in EEC

American entrepreneurs are keen to invest in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), home to 12 targeted industries that are expected to transform Thailand into an innovation-driven economy, says Lavaron Sangsnit, director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office and the Finance Ministry's spokesman.

Those engaged in the energy, finance and infrastructure sectors have shown an interest in EEC investment and the government stands ready to support such a splurge from overseas investors, Mr Lavaron said.

US-based medical supply company Baxter International Inc has already invested in the corridor, with Thailand to serve as a hub for Southeast Asia.

The EEC is the government's flagship investment scheme, spanning the eastern provinces of Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao.

Due to be completed by 2021, the project is aimed at creating a technological, manufacturing and service hub connected to Asean neighbours by land, sea and air.

At a meeting with Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana late Monday, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, accompanied by representatives of 16 US companies, said the US is eyeing investment and manufacturing relocation opportunities in Thailand.

Mr Ross also congratulated Thailand on a surge in the country's ranking in the World Bank's 2020 Ease of Doing Business (EODB) report.

Thailand advanced six notches to 21st out of 190 countries in the EODB rankings. The country scored 80.1, slightly below Malaysia, which was in the 12th spot with a score of 81.50, while Singapore ranked second with a score of 86.2.

The government wants to foster partnerships between the two nations, Mr Lavaron said.

To draw foreign investors, the government has pushed efforts to improve regulations to increase transparency and enhance the international trade and investment environment, he said, adding that such attempts appear to be paying off, as seen by the EODB index.

Mr Uttama told Mr Ross that the government is committed to using the 20-year national strategy as a framework to steer the country towards the Thailand 4.0 economy.

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