New regional zones approved by panel
text size

New regional zones approved by panel

Danucha: Goal is to decentralise income
Danucha: Goal is to decentralise income

The Special Economic Zone Policy Committee chaired by the prime minister yesterday approved four new special economic corridors, meant to resemble the flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), in a move to spur the economy and decentralise income to the regions.

According to Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council, the zones comprise the Northern Economic Corridor (NEC), the Northeastern Economic Corridor (NEEC), the Central-Western Economic Corridor (CWEC), and the Southern Economic Corridor.

The NEC covers Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Lamphun and Lampang. It is designated as a production base for the creative economy based on Lanna culture.

The NEEC spans the provinces of Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Nakhon Ratchasima and Nong Khai. This corridor is expected to be a production base for the bio-economy and its supply chain because of the area's plentiful raw materials, such as rice, tapioca and sugar cane.

The CWEC covers Ayutthaya, Nakhon Pathom, Suphan Buri, and Kanchanaburi. The corridor is to be developed as a production base for agro-business, tourism and high technology.

The development aims to create a linkage between the CWEC, Bangkok and the existing EEC.

The southern corridor covers the provinces of Chumphon, Ranong, Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat. This corridor is to be developed as an economic, trading and logistics centre for the southern region.

The southern corridor aims to link the Andaman Sea, the Gulf of Thailand and countries along the Indian Ocean rim such as India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. This zone is also expected to promote the bio-economy, agro-business and world-class tourism development.

"The government wants to develop the four economic corridors as vital tools to boost the economy in each region and decentralise income to the regions," said Mr Danucha.

In a related development, the committee yesterday authorised the Finance Ministry's permanent secretary to act as chairman of a subcommittee on incentives and one-stop services. A subcommittee is required to settle non-tax and tax investment incentives, one-stop services, infrastructure and facilities, in order to lure investors.

He said incentives and categories for investment in the four corridors will be proposed at the next meeting of the Board of Investment.

In order to accelerate investments in the 10 existing special economic zones, the committee also approved the extension of a rental fee exemption on the Treasury Department's land plots in five special economic zones until 2023, from the original expiry date of 2021. The five zones are in Tak, Nong Khai, Mukdahan, Nakhon Phanom and Kanchanaburi.

Do you like the content of this article?