EEC eyes foreign investment of B100bn
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EEC eyes foreign investment of B100bn

Mr Chula said cumulative investment in the EEC over the past six years stood at 2 trillion baht.
Mr Chula said cumulative investment in the EEC over the past six years stood at 2 trillion baht.

The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Office targets increasing the value of foreign investment to 100 billion baht per year from 70 billion in an effort to upgrade the country's competitiveness, especially via the digital sector.

The EEC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Tuesday with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) on collaboration to promote investment in the EEC, creating centralised data connectivity and efforts to attract investment from innovation-driven sectors and knowledge exchange.

Chula Sukmanop, secretary-general of the EEC Office, said the three-year MoU is aimed at raising the country's competitiveness via the EEC by strengthening the network infrastructure to facilitate wireless services, fostering related infrastructure and utilities, and utilising spectrum management.

The collaboration will cover the supervision of technology use to promote investment in the EEC, creating centralised data connectivity, exchanging of knowledge and information as well as creating prototypes to promote the use of 5G tech in the EEC.

Mr Chula said cumulative investment in the EEC stood at 2 trillion baht for the past six years based on Board of Investment promotion certificates. Actual investment was around 70 billion baht per year the past few years, he said. The EEC targets 100 billion baht in foreign investment this year.

He said the EEC's objectives include attracting foreign investment, helping the development of infrastructure to serve EEC policy, preparing skilled labour, developing smart cities to draw further investment in the long term, drawing activities to the EEC and boosting the wellness of people in the area.

NBTC acting secretary-general Trairat Viriyasirikul said the regulator is ready to support the development of 5G tech in the industrial sector to drive the economy.

In February 2020, the NBTC Office held an auction of 2,600-megahertz licences, with Advanced Info Service and True Corporation winning the rights.

According to the auction's conditions, the winning bidders are required to invest in developing a 2,600-MHz telecommunications network to cover 50% of the EEC within a year of obtaining the licences.

The network covers 95.7% of the EEC zone in Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong.

Mr Trairat said the NBTC Office has been involved in creating a favourable environment for the use of equipment and applications that support the operation of 5G to reach more users.

The NBTC Office granted permission for specific regulatory sandbox areas in the Eastern Economic Corridor Innovation Project (EECi) to two parties: PTT Plc and the National Science and Technology Development Agency.

The EECi is an innovation hub at the heart of the EEC in Wangchan, Rayong.

He said the office is also considering awarding permission for a specific regulatory sandbox area to establish a Thailand Digital Industry and Innovation Promotion Zone (Eastern Economic Corridor of Digital: EECd) in the Thailand Digital Valley project, Sri Racha district in Chon Buri province.

The digital industry generates investment both domestically and abroad, including in e-commerce, the Internet of Things, digital content and cloud computing, said Mr Trairat.

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