The Public and private sectors have committed to invest over Bt1.17 trillion in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) from this year until 2022. The EEC covers three provinces of the country’s eastern area – Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, and Rayong.
The planned investment in EEC related infrastructure by the public sector alone reaches Bt569.75 billion, while a number of Thai corporates as well overseas firms have also voiced an interest in expanding their investment in the corridor once the EEC Act to provide more tax incentives to the private sector is in effect.
BTS Group Holdings Plc’s
According to chairman, Keeree Kanjanapas “We are interested in expanding our investment in EEC, especially construction of infrastructure projects because it is necessary to develop the EEC area to be the regional hub.” He added that the company had already joined the bidding to develop both of the planned high speed dual track railways to link EEC to other provinces. The company wants to help meet the challenge to boost the country’s economic growth for the long term.
PTT Plc’s President and CEO Tevin Vongvanich, explained that PTT Group also set to make an aggressive investment to develop its petrochemical complex in the EEC and pursue innovative business to support its long term business growth.
Bangchak Corporation Plc
According to President and CEO Chaiwat Kovavisarach of Bangchak Coporation and its subsidiaries, company have also set aside an investment budget of Bt37.66 billion for the 2018-2022 period to create their “BioComplex” in Chachoengsao province, He added that “Chachoengsao is the prime location for biological products because the location is close to northeastern and eastern Thailand. “This is better for the logistics involved in transporting our raw material and products.”
Many foreign investors are also interested in expanding investments in the EEC. Like, Taiwan based Jinpao Precision Industry Co Ltd has set aside an investment budget of Bt2 billion to build a new plant producing structural sheet metal parts at Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate 2 in Rayong province.
Swedish aerospace and defense firm Saab is also in discussions with Amata Corporation about possible cooperation in maintenance and development of a smart city, said Saab’s CEO, Hakan Buskhe. The talks follow Saab’s earlier survey about investment opportunities in maintenance, repair and operations in the EEC.
Chinese conglomerate HNA Group is planning to link up with CT Bright, an investment unit of Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group), to set up a fund for investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). HNA Group, based in Hainan province and founded in 2000, is involved in aviation, real estate, financial services, tourism, logistics, and other industries. It is a partial owner of Grand China Air, and the Hilton Hotels group.
According to Hong Kong based South China Morning Post, HNA Innovation Finance and CT Bright will contribute 20 per cent each to the fund which may reach US$5 billion (Bt 157.3 billion) over the next three to five years which lead to invest in the $43billion EEC project. CP Group, among others, are conducting a feasibility study into a highspeed train linking the revitalised Utapao international airport in Rayong province to Bangkok. The study could lead to investment.
EEC will be enabling 10 target industries to realize the Thailand 4.0 vision.
Those 10 industries are next generation Cars, Smart electronics, Affluent medical and wellness tourism, Agriculture and biotechnology, Food, Robotics for industry, Logistics and aviation, Biofuels and biochemical, Digital, and Medical services.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak last week said that the EEC Act will soon be in effect and will soon move through the National Legislative Assembly.
The Act will provide more incentive for both local and foreign investors to expand their investment in the area, including a personal income tax reduction to 17 per cent.
Companies and juristic entities will be exempted from corporate income tax for expenses paid for investment, changes, expansion or improvement of property, but not for repairs of a property’s current conditions.
Source: The Nation