EEC investment to hit B2.5tr in 2027
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EEC investment to hit B2.5tr in 2027

The government expects private investment in the state flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme to reach as much as 2.5 trillion baht in 2027, playing a key role in driving economic growth during that period.

Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the EEC Office, said his office is feeling upbeat that private investment in the EEC will stay at an average of 500 billion baht a year between 2023 and 2027, up from 300 billion baht a year between 2019 and 2023.

"The private investment worth about 500 billion baht a year is believed to be enough to boost the Thai annual economic growth to reach an average 5% a year between 2023 and 2027," Mr Kanit said.

The EEC is part of the government's strategy to move Thailand towards a high-tech economy.

The area spans a combined 30,000 rai of land in the provinces of Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao to accommodate investment in targeted industries, focusing largely on advanced technology.

The EEC will host 12 target S-curve industries -- cars, smart electronics, medical and wellness tourism, agriculture and biotechnology, food, robotics for industry, logistics and aviation, biofuels and biochemicals, digital, medical services, defence and education development.

The government is offering a raft of privileges for investment in the EEC, including standard tax holidays for five to 10 years depending on investment category, corporate income tax exemption for an additional two years, and a 50% corporate tax reduction for three years for investment projects related to human resources development.

The EEC attracted investment applications for 117 projects in the first quarter of this year with a combined value of 64.4 billion baht, 39% higher than the total value of 117 projects filed in the same period of 2020.

Of the total 30,000 rai of land designated for the EEC, 15,000 rai has already been used and developed.

According to Mr Kanit, the key drivers from 2023 to 2027 will stem largely from 5G investment, electrical vehicles, medical industries and bio-, circular and green (BCG) economy.

The Covid-19 outbreaks and ongoing trade war between the US and China are expected to draw more foreign investors to relocate their production bases to Thailand, while investment in electrical vehicles made good progress, with US investors already investing in battery manufacturing and Chinese investors starting to make EVs, he said.

According to Mr Kanit, the government is also speeding up infrastructure development in the EEC for EVs, with the construction of 100 charging stations set to be completed within this year and an additional 100 stations next year.

The EEC Office yesterday reported to the EEC Policy Committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, as of June 30 total investments both from the public and private sectors in the EEC have reached 1.6 trillion baht.

The figure is projected to reach 1.8 trillion baht in 2023.

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