IEAT schedules kick off for SEZs in Songkhla, Sa Kaeo

IEAT schedules kick off for SEZs in Songkhla, Sa Kaeo

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) expects to begin operations of two special economic zones (SEZs) in Songkhla and Sa Kaeo by 2020.

The Songkhla SEZ in Sadao district is in the first phase of development on a plot of 692 rai.

The site in Sa Kaeo has set aside 660 rai for development of infrastructure and facilities to support potential investors.

IEAT governor Somchint Pilouk said the Songkhla SEZ will attract companies from Malaysia and Singapore eyeing investment in rubber, automotive, processed food, electronics and logistics sectors to support border trade through the Sadao checkpoint.

"The Songkhla SEZ is aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs] in nearby provinces and promoting local farm products," Ms Somchint said.

"Sadao district is connected to Malaysia, so there is a huge opportunity to increase border trade competition from that checkpoint."

The Songkhla SEZ consists of a general area (290 rai), logistics area (119 rai), infrastructure projects (286 rai), commercial area (48 rai) and green area (102 rai).

The cabinet gave the nod to a 1.29-billion-baht budget in 2018 to develop the Songkhla SEZ.

For the Sa Kaeo SEZ, the project is financed by 1.66 billion baht from the government. This industrial site will serve sectors including logistics and transport, farm products, rubber, electronics, textile and garments, and trading business.

The Sa Kaeo SEZ can attract many companies and the site is connected with the borders of Cambodia's Banteay Meanchey and Battambang provinces, she said.

The Sa Kaeo SEZ consists of a general area (241 rai), logistics area (89 rai), infrastructure project (163 rai), commercial area (36 rai) and green area (62 rai).

"The government's SEZ scheme will improve national competitiveness in provincial GDP growth, poverty reduction, better quality of life and solve security problems in border provinces," Ms Somchint said.

The military-led government in 2015 announced the formation of 10 SEZs. These are to be set up in Tak, Sa Kaeo, Mukdahan, Trat, Songkhla, Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom, Kanchanaburi, Narathiwat and Chiang Rai.

At present, four SEZs are under development: Songkhla, Sa Kaeo, Mae Sot and Mukdahan.

In addition, the government plans to revise land rental rates in SEZs in order to lure more investment in the targeted areas.

At present, the average rate for land rental is between 160,000-190,000 baht. The IEAT expects to expand new commercial buildings to support potential investors as well.

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