Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Govt to push EEC policy into overdrive, but business demands tangible results

Jul 23. 2019
Suphan Mongkholsuthee
Suphan Mongkholsuthee
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By The Nation

2,550 Viewed

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will on Thursday (July 25) unveil his government’s policy statement in Parliament, aimed at elevating Thailand to developed-nation status country via 12 urgent and 12 long-term policies focused mainly on the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project.

Among the urgent policies, the sixth calls for a “future-proof” economic system by promoting target industries and developing he bio-economy, circular economy and green economy. This policy will essentially promote private-sector investment in the EEC project, especially in “smart-city” infrastructure such as 5G wireless communication and artificial intelligent technology, along with improvement of SME and community skills.

Meanwhile, the fifth long-term policy dictates the development of Thailand’s economy and competitive ability by using technological advancement and innovations, along with creating added value to industrial, agricultural and cultural products and services of communities using local resources and biodiversity. Under this policy the government is planning to establish an intelligent power grid within the EEC to serve as a pilot programme for a more efficient nationwide electricity and energy management system.

The EEC project will also be tapped as a channel to distribute development opportunities to the regional level, to help reduce economic disparity and he rural-urban gap. The government is aiming to build urban communities that are modern, high-tech oriented, self-reliant and capable of becoming an economic hub in Asia through the EEC initiative.

Suphan Mongkholsuthee, president of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said the private sector wants to see the government actually carry out the policies they will announce to Parliament, especially those related to promoting target industries and the EEC.

“The government should focus on pushing the investment in mega projects’ infrastructure in EEC areas and deliver tangible results as soon as possible,” he said. “Only then we can create confidence among domestic and foreign corporations to invest in high-technology industries, enhancing Thailand’s manufacturing capability in the long run.”

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