The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) – Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard; the next major economic zone of ASEAN
In December 2016 the DTCC Chamber participated in a meeting where government representatives presented the plans for the Eastern Econonomic Corridor. Later the Prime Minister addressed the EEC at ‘Opportunity Thailand’ on 15th February 2017. Now the draft of Eastern Special Economic Zone Act is forwarded to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) for approval.
On June 28, 2016, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha formally approved the Eastern Economic Corridor development in a bid to make Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard the next major economic zone of ASEAN. Geographically, the project comprises Chon Buri, Rayong, and Chachoengsao, which have long been considered key industrial bases for the automotive, petrochemical, and energy sectors, and represent over 20% of Thailand’s overall GDP. The initial cost of the project is set to be around THB300 billion ($8.5 billion), although Kan Trakulhoon, the head of the EEC working group and former President of the Siam Cement Group (SCG), suggests this figure could rise to a whopping THB1.5 trillion over the next five years as infrastructure developments begin to take shape.
Specifically, these include increasing capacity at U-Tapao International Airport (40km south of Pattaya) to accommodate 5 million passengers annually, as well as expanding sea ports such as Sattahip Commercial, Map Ta Phut, and Thailand’s biggest, Laem Chabang, by over 300,000 TEUs. Furthermore, a special highway connecting Nakhon Ratchasim to Rayong via Laem Chabang is set to be built, while work is also set to commence on the much-anticipated double-track railway from the Eastern Seaboard to Bangkok, and beyond. In addition, a deep-sea port at Chuk Samet will be developed expressly to connect and link cruise liners on each side of the Gulf of Thailand.
The Cabinet has confirmed that the project will be financed through a combination of government, private, and PPP funding. Most importantly, perhaps, in terms of output, the EEC is on course to revolutionize Thailand’s production basket.
Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Somkid Jatusripitak, has been assigned by the Cabinet to explore a range of incentives and promotional privileges over the coming months for investors looking at the Eastern Seaboard. According to Trakulhoon, this could include corporate tax exemption for 15 years and up to a 300% tax break, including 0% personal income tax for lead researchers, for all companies doing R&D in the EEC. Source: The Business Year 2017.
An international consultant has been awarded a mandate to study PPP regulations and laws by the State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO), Ministry of Finance, in order to explore ways to make the project more attractive to foreign investors. Source:
The presentations received by the DTCC Chamber from the government age
ncies can be retrieved at these links:
- BOI Policy Update presentation – presented by Khun Duangjai Asawachintachit, Deputy Secretary General of Board Of Investment (BOI);
- Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) presentation – presented by Dr. Kobsak Pootrakool, Vice Minister, Prime Minister Office.
This URL is the video presentation on Eastern Economic Corridor:
Questions such as how to attract enough skilled labour as well as securing the uninterru
pted progress through changing governments subject to varying policies and economies remains unanswered.
The Danish-Thai Chamber of Commerce (DTCC)