EEC Development Project Implementation Progress
The Eastern Economic Corridor or EEC, which operates in three eastern provinces (Chaochoengsao, Chonburi, and Rayong) has designated 5 Promotional Zones as follows:
- The Special EEC Zone: Eastern Airport City - This zone is located on 6,500 rai (2,570 acres, 1,040 hectares) of land in the vicinity of the U-Tapao International Airport, and will facilitate the transformation of U-Tapao Airport into an aviation hub. This project includes expansions to better facilitate passenger volumes of 15 million people per year in the next 5 years, 35 million people per year in the next 10, and 60 million passengers per year in the next 15 years.
- The Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation: EECi – The zone is located in the vicinity of the Wangchan Valley of Rayong and occupies 3,000 rai (1,187 acres, 480 hectares) of land as well as 120 rai (48 acres, 20 hectares) of land in the Space Inspirium area of the Sriracha district of Chonburi. These areas serve to enhance both community and industry through development of research and innovation.
- Digital Park Thailand: EECd – This zone is located in the Sriracha district of Rayong and occupies 709 rai (280 acres, 113 hectares) of land. This zone seeks to update digital infrastructures in anticipation of the establishment of the regional ASEAN Data Hub.
- Smart Park – The Smart Park is located in Rayong and occupies 1,466 rai (580 acres, 235 hectares) of land.
- Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard 4 Industrial Estate - The industrial estate is located in Rayong and occupies 1,900 rai (751 acres, 304 hectares) of land.
In addition to the above, several important transportation infrastructure development projects have been approved and include: studies of rail systems (The Eastern High-Speed Railways Airport Link for current implementations and expansions, as well as the BTS Red-Line), which will connect Don Muang, Suvarnabhumi, and U-Tapao International Airports; as well as development of Phase III Laem Chabang, Phase III Map Ta Phut, and the Sattahip Commercial deep seaports. The connection of railway networks with the 3 seaports, as well as the implementation of seamless operation transportation systems constitute the initial implementations of the EEC, which seeks to solidify Thailand’s role as a major global economic hub.
Further announcements and declarations speak to the rules, regulations, conditions and procedures for public private partnerships as well as direct private investment as of 2017 (EEC Track), which better facilitates continuous investment in the EEC region. Current pilot projects which stand ready for investment of 6 important projects include: 1. The development of U-Tapao International Airport and the establishment of the Aerotrpolis, 2. The High-Speed Railway Airport Link system (between Don Muang, Suvarnabhumi, and U-Tapao Airports), 3. Phase III Map Ta Phut Port development 4. Phase III Laem Chabang Seaport development, 5. The U-Tapao Repair, Maintenance and Overhaul Center, and 6. The Digital Park Thailand (EECd).
At the same time, 8 supportive plans have received approval for EEC development and include: 1. Infrastructure development, 2. Targeted industry development, 3. Regional tourism development, 4. The aviation hub development, 5. Human resource, education, research, and technology development, 6. New city development Chachoengsao – Pattaya – Rayong, 7. Regional PR and Community Understanding development, and 8. The EEC Agriculture, Irrigation and Environmental Implementation Programme.
Similarly, the Draft Human Resource, Education, Research, and Technology Development Implementation Programme (2017 – 2021) and budget allocation of the 2018 budget for urgent projects necessary for the implementation of the above draft in the amount of 861.02 million THB have received glowing approval.
The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has promoted 160 EEC regional projects, and the Eastern Economic Corridor Office of Thailand (EECO) successfully invited a total of 40 EEC investors in targeted industries, where 11 such investors are currently being considered.