The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Policy Committee on Friday endorsed a draft 5-year EEC development plan for the period 2023 to 2027, with the aim of attracting a total of 500 billion baht worth of investments to the area, representing an average of 100 billion baht per year.
The committee also approved the offering of 10-year visas to investors in targeted businesses in the EEC to attract foreign investment, starting next year.
According to Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, who chaired Friday's committee meeting, the new 5-year development plan will outline five development strategies.
The strategies are: a plan to promote investment in targeted industries and future services; to enhance the efficiency and utilisation of infrastructure and public utility systems; to enhance the skills of the workforce to adapt to technological changes and innovation; to develop modern, liveable, and occupation-appropriate cities; and to connect the benefits available from the investment to the sustainable development of communities.
Mr Phumtham said the goal is to raise the actual investment in the government’s flagship industrial area to a total of 500 billion baht, or 100 billion baht a year, during 2023-2027, from about 75 billion baht a year at present, expand the gross provincial product of the EEC provinces by 6.3%, and improve the income and quality of life for the local population.
The plan also aims to create a good society and promote environmental sustainability, he said.
Mr Phumtham said Friday’s meeting also approved the EEC visa as a special case, allowing investors with modern and environmentally friendly investments in targeted industries in the EEC area to bring foreign workers into the country under the EEC visa scheme.
This includes specialists under EEC visa "S", executives under EEC visa "E", professionals under EEC visa "P", as well as spouses and dependents under the "other" category, pertaining to EEC visa "O".
These individuals will enjoy significant benefits, including automatic approval for EEC work permits, a personal income tax rate fixed at 17%, a maximum visa duration of 10 years in accordance with the employment contract, online reporting, and access to special channels (fast track) at international airports throughout the country.
The eligibility for these privileges will begin on Jan 1, 2024.