At least B300bn in investment in industrial east seen this year

At least B300bn in investment in industrial east seen this year

A factory producing steel bars, wire rod steel and structural steel at Millcon Steel factory is seen in Rayong. (Photo supplied)
A factory producing steel bars, wire rod steel and structural steel at Millcon Steel factory is seen in Rayong. (Photo supplied)

Thailand expects investment to triple to at least 300 billion baht in the country's industrial east this year as investment projects previously held by the coronavirus outbreak get pushed forward again as the pandemic eases, an official said on Monday.

Actual investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) could be at least 300 billion baht this year, up from 96 billion baht in 2020, or 46% of total project applications, EEC head Kanit Sangsubhan told a briefing.

"As investors didn't invest last year, they would have to do it this year. There will be a bunch of projects held up from previous years," he said.

The EEC straddles eastern provinces and is a centrepiece of government efforts to boost growth and encourage investment particularly in high-tech industries. Investors are allowed to rent land for up to 99 years. 

In a separate briefing, Stanley Kang, chairman of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand, said the country remained a good investment destination but it needed to reopen as soon as possible to draw foreign investors.

"If travelling is difficult, it will be hard to help the economy," he said. "But vaccines have arrived and we hope Thailand will produce vaccines in June, so the second half should be better," he added.

On Sunday, the country started its Covid-19 inoculation campaign, but it has yet to lift a travel ban imposed last April to curb the spread of the virus.

Thailand's tourism-reliant economy, Southeast Asia's second largest, suffered its deepest slump in over two decades last year due to the impact of the pandemic. The government expects growth of 2.5-3.5% this year.

For most of last year the country kept infections low, but a second wave emerged in December and slowed activity. Recent cases, however, have slowed sharply. 

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (2)

Two killed in separate incidents in Narathiwat

NARATHIWAT: A man was shot dead after returning from a forest to collect wild products and hunt animals in Si Sakhon district while a woman was found dead with gunshot and stab wounds in Tak Bai district of this southern province.

12:13

Omicron spreading in US: Virus Update

The Omicron variant is now in at least 10 US states and White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said there is "absolutely" community spread. Gilead Sciences Inc recalled two lots of its Covid-19 drug remdesivir in the US after a complaint about glass particles in the vials.

11:52

5,896 new Covid cases, 37 new deaths

Thailand logged 5,896 new Covid-19 cases and 37 new fatalities during the previous 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry announced on Saturday morning.

08:23