The Eastern Economic Corridor Policy Committee Meeting NO.1/2018 was chaired by the Prime Minister; below are the summary notes of the meeting.
1. Current Progress
The Meeting acknowledged the progress in accordance with the stated policy as follows:
1.1 The draft Act for the Eastern Economic Corridor (the EEC Act)
On 29th January 2018, the Extraordinary Commission has completed the consideration of the EEC Act. It is expected that the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand will finish their consideration of the EEC Act within February 2018.
1.2 Investment in the targeted industries within EEC area
The total investment value of the businesses applied for the investment promotion in EEC in 2017 was 296,890 million Baht (compared to 199,327 million Baht in 2016). The targeted total investment value for 2018 is set at 300,000 million Baht and 84 percent of which would be for 10 target industries that use advanced technology.
In addition, the Meeting acknowledged that the Board of Investment had already approved the EEC investment promotional measures which were effective since 1st January 2018.
• Special Promotion Zone such as the Aviation City (Aerotropolis) offers additional incentives by extending the duration of corporate tax exemption for another 2 years (total of 8 years) and extending the duration of the 50 percent corporate tax break for another 5 years with the condition that the company provides training for more than 10 percent of the total workforce or more than 50 employees.
• Special Promotion Zone for Target Industries will receive additional 5 years for the 50 percent corporate tax break with the condition that the company provides training for more than 10 percent of the total workforce or more than 50 employees.
• Industrial Estate or Industrial Areas in EEC will receive additional 3 years for the 50 percent corporate tax break with the condition that the company provides training for more than 5 percent of the total workforce or more than 25 employees.
1.3 Human Resource Development in EEC Area (according to the EEC Committee Meeting NO.3/2017)
The EEC Office (EECO) conducted public hearings on the draft Action Plan on Human Resource Development in EEC Area in Chachoengsao and Chonburi as approved by the EEC Policy Committee in the previous meeting. The results from public hearings concluded that the local population agreed on the concept of the proposed human resource development plan, which emphasizes on educating the young generations to attain knowledge that matches with the demands of the target industries. Accordingly, several organizations and educational institutions at all levels are currently working together in the same direction.
In addition, Bureau of the Budget and the EEC Office are cooperating on adjusting the details of the urgent projects in accordance with the EEC human resource development objectives by scoping down to 15 projects at the budget of 589 million Baht (from the previously proposed budget of 861 million Baht).
2. The 19 Additional Industrial Promotion Zones for Target Industries
The EEC Policy Committee approved the 19 Additional Industrial Promotion Zones for Target Industries with the concluded criteria. The additional zones would add extra industrial areas of 26,200 Rai for target industries and aim to absorb the total investment of 1.1 trillion Baht within the next 10 years.
The 19 Additional Industrial Promotion Zones for Target Industries include 6 zones in Rayong, 12 zones in Chonburi, and 1 zone in Chachoengsao. All of the additional industrial zones have already acquired the EIA approval and are currently in operation with available space; therefore, there is no need for land acquisitions outside of the existing industrial areas.
3. Qualifications and Conditions of the Aviation Entrepreneurs in EEC
In order to support the efficient establishment of the aviation industrial cluster, international investors are encouraged to invest in aviation industry in EEC. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) and the EEC Office then redefined the qualifications of the eligible Aviation Entrepreneur to include legal entities with less than 51 percent of Thai nationals to allow foreign investment, as follows:
• Must be a Juristic Person under Thai Law
• Has a physical office in Thailand
• Has a business establishment located within the promotional zone of EEC area
• Conduct the business with the purpose to manufacture aircraft or its key parts and components or to operate an aircraft repair station
• Attains or eligible to Certificate of Aircraft or its key parts and components to manufacture (in case of aviation manufacturer)
• Has the proficiency to manufacture aircraft or its key parts and components according to the Certificate of Aircraft or the capacity to operate an aircraft repair station
• Has the quality control system for the aviation manufacturing or repairing
• Level of prerequisite technology to enhance the aviation industry development in Thailand
• Technology Tranfer Plan and Human Resource Development Plan for Thai personnel
4. EEC Infrastructure Development Action Plan
The Meeting approved the draft EEC Infrastructure Development Action Plan prepared by the EEC Infrastructure Sub-committee (chaired by Director-General of The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning: OTP) and suggested to include digital, scientific and technological
aspects to the plan. Key purposes of the draft EEC Infrastructure Development Action Plan are as follows:
4.1 To seamlessly develop intermodal logistics connectivity in EEC and relating areas
• For EEC to be one of the major livable economic centers of Asia
• For EEC to perfectly connects and conjoins with Bangkok to become a great metropolis in order to ease the overcrowding problems in Bangkok. It is planned to develop a high-speed railway system for people to commute between Bangkok and EEC within 1 hour and to enhance U-Tapao Airport to become the third major airport in order to alleviate the congestion of Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi airports.
4.2 To materialize the plan, there are 168 projects in short- / medium- / and long-term within the total budget of approximately 1 trillion Baht, 30 percent of which is expected to be declared in the annual government statement of expenditure while another 10 percent will come from state enterprise investments and 60 percent of total investment will be invested by means of Public-Private-Participation (PPP).
5. EEC Tourism Support and Development Action Plan
The Meeting approved the EEC Tourism Support and Development Action Plan prepared by the EEC Tourism Support and Development Sub-committee (chaired by Vice Minister of Tourism and Sports). Key purposes of the EEC Tourism Support and Development Action Plan are as follows:
5.1 To improve the quality of tourism in EEC area to sustainably become a world-class tourist destination and accommodate high-income- / health- / family- / business-related visitors in 4 years (after the intermodal transportation is well developed)
• Visitors in EEC areas to increase from 30 million persons to 47 million persons
• Earning from tourism to increase from 3 hundred billion Baht to 5 hundred billion Baht
5.2 To materialize the plan, 53 projects were proposed within the total budget of 30 billion Baht, 25 percent of which shall be declared in the annual government statement of expenditure while 1 percent would be from the state enterprise investment and 74 percent of total investment would be from Public-Private-Participation (PPP).
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