Friday, December 06, 2019

Regulations announced for EEC public-private partnerships

Dec 28. 2017
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By The Nation

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The Eastern Economic Corridor Office of Thailand (EECO) has set out regulations, methods, conditions and procedures for the Public-Private Partnership (PPP EEC Track) to be applied to five mega-projects as part of the industrial corridor’s development.

Ekniti Nitithanprapas, director general of the State Enterprise Policy Office, said government policy aims to propel these projects through the PPP EEC Track by eliminating unnecessary procedures and accelerating the entire process, including the selection of private-sector partners, so that contracts can be signed within eight to 10 months.

By comparison, he said, procedures as set out in the Private Investments in State Undertakings Act 2013 took around 40 months and even Fast Track Procedures 20 months.

PPC EEC Track will also considerably ease the government’s burden in securing loans and spending funds, and the public would benefit from efficient services at reasonable prices.

Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Kobsak Phutrakul said PPP EEC Track would help push investment projects rapidly, amid ample transparency, allowing for every step to be scrutinised, from proposals and the selection of partners through contract amendment, cancelling contracts if necessary and surveying the private sector, to disclosing information in joint venture agreements and project outcomes (outside private partners’ trade secrets).

EECO secretary general Kanit Sangsubhan said the projects’ success depended on developing and enhancing trade competitiveness by improving infrastructure, especially logistics and transport system to connect air, rail, road and sea networks in every region across the country.

He said the government was seeking Public-Private Partnership (PPP) investments in U-tapao Airport and Eastern Airport City, the U-tapao Aircraft Maintenance Centre, a high-speed railway linking the three airports, Laem Chabang Port Phase 3, and Map Ta Phut Industrial Port Phase 3.

Total investment of at least Bt600 billion was targeted, Dr Kanit said, and terms of reference would be finalised in the second quarter of 2018.

The government had prepared privileges and measures to attract private partners to participate in EEC development, he said. 

These include exemption from corporate income tax for eight years (but not above 100 per cent of the investment), exemption from import duties on machinery, a one-year exemption from import duties on raw or essential materials, permission to bring in foreign skilled workers, and, for the U-tapao Aircraft Maintenance Centre, the right to lease state land and export foreign currencies.

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