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IPD to strengthen SEZ industries

The Industrial Promotion Department will accelerate plans to strengthen five core manufacturing industries in the five southern border provinces.

The southernmost region promises good potential for processed rubber, wood and wood products, palm oil, processed food, and textiles and garments, Arthit Wuthikaro, director-general of the department, said yesterday.

Support will come in the form of working-capital loans for rubber factories, programmes for adding value to rubber and rubber products, a programme to develop and prepare target industries for the Asean Economic Community and a project to develop local industrial entrepreneurs.

The government also has a policy to establish special economic zones to prepare for integration under the AEC, stimulate the local economy, boost border trade, narrow income gaps and fortify national security.

Songkhla’s Sadao district was selected to host an SEZ because of its suitability as a regional gateway for the North-South Economic Corridor, supported by roads and rail transport leading to Malaysia and Singapore.

Thailand exports raw rubber sheets and latex via Malaysian ports. Last year, goods worth more than Bt322 billion – 40 per cent of goods traded between Thailand and neighbouring countries – passed through Sadao’s border customs office.

The five southern border provinces are home to 109,749 small and medium-sized enterprises, or 4 per cent of all SMEs nationwide.

Published : July 21, 2015

By : The Nation