EEC expects investment average of B500bn a year

EEC expects investment average of B500bn a year

The government's flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is expected to be instrumental to Thailand's investment and economic growth, with investments in the area projected to increase the country's economic growth by 1.5 percentage points a year between 2022 and 2026.

Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the EEC Office, said yesterday the agency remains confident the area will become a vital investment destination, luring an average of 500 billion baht a year between 2022 and 2026, which will lead to economic growth of 1.5 percentage points a year.

"Investments in the EEC will play an important role in helping the economy recover from the Covid-19 outbreaks," he said.

The agency is bullish on private investment prospects, predicting outlays from that sector in the EEC to stay at 2.2-2.5 trillion baht over the next five years. Of the total, about 200 billion baht would come from investment in the Eastern Aviation City; city development around U-tapao airport; and development around the main high-speed rail stations linking the three airports, said Mr Kanit.

Investment in targeted industries is estimated at 400 billion baht a year, of which 250 billion would be normal annual investment, with the remainder from new S-curve industries such as electric vehicles, digital, medical services, logistics, smart farms and food, according to the agency.

He said his office intends to lure further investment in S-curve industries to upgrade Thailand's technology.

A subcommittee on the EEC chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow acknowledged yesterday the construction progress on the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi), which is 98% complete.

Established in Wang Chan Valley in Rayong, the EECi concentrates on two categories of technology and innovation: Aripolis, a centre for research and innovation in automation, robotics and intelligent systems; and Biopolis, a centre for research and innovation in life sciences and biotechnology. The government plans to invite Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders to visit EECi, slated to open November 2023.

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