Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. (Photo: Government House)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will today chair a meeting of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Policy Committee to follow up on progress in investment projects.
He will also discuss ways to prevent potential social and environmental impacts, deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Taisaranakul said on Sunday.
The government has instructed state agencies to ramp up efforts to press ahead with EEC projects and listen to feedback to ensure communities enjoy maximum benefits.
The government aims to turn the EEC, which covers parts of Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao, into a high-tech industrial hub hosting 12 targeted S-curve industries, including electric vehicles, smart electronics as well as affluent, medical and wellness tourism.
“The EEC is intended to be a strategic area for development to which the government has attached great importance,” she said. “Incentives have been offered to encourage investment while measures have been devised to take care of society and protect the environment.”
“Opportunities will be created and residents will benefit from various projects,” she said.
The move comes after the government received a study on the prevention of social, environmental and health impacts in local communities in the EEC from the Senate committee on tackling poverty and disparities, Ms Traisulee said.
The report has been sent to the Office of the EEC Policy Committee which will work with the Industry Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Social Development and Human Security Ministry and the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to put the recommendations into action, she said.
The report has predicted potential problems in the EEC area such as urban expansion, losses of agricultural land, degradation of natural resources and the environment, water shortages and concerns about pollution management, she said.
Solutions included adopting proactive approaches to tackling problems, conducting a strategic environmental assessment, promoting industries that are friendly to the environment, and supporting a participatory process involving residents in decision-making, she said.