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SUNDAY, December 10, 2023

Private sector hopes new govt will keep Thailand’s EEC dreams alive

Private sector hopes new govt will keep Thailand’s EEC dreams alive
TUESDAY, June 06, 2023

Development of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), a key ambition of the outgoing government, should be kept alive by the next government, CEOs say.

The EEC, launched under the EEC Act in 2018, includes mega infrastructure projects like a high-speed rail link between airports, an aviation hub, ports etc. It has also been a major draw for foreign investors.

Hence, Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, Group CEO of WHA Corporation Plc, said the next government should take the right steps to maintain investors’ confidence and keep the EEC policy and mission alive.

WHA Corporation oversees the building of industrial estates in the economic corridor.

Jareeporn said EEC will serve as a strategic trading zone and an investment hub for Thailand. It will also provide a link with the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC) as well as the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, he said.

The CEO also advised the upcoming government to continue supporting the electric vehicles (EV) sector, as it is a target industry with a wider plan to reduce transportation costs.

A larger investment in research and development of technology is also necessary to give birth to a new industrial revolution, he said.

Foreign experts will be necessary to make this revolution successful and for that, Thailand should introduce smart work permits and visas, he said.

Meanwhile, Nathasit Diskul, CEO of Bangkok Aviation Fuel Services (BAFS), said the EEC was vital to Thailand’s future development projects and to draw foreign investors.

Thailand has shown great potential in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, as well as being a leader in bio-jet fuel production, thanks to the easy availability of agricultural sources like sugarcane and oil palm cultivation, he said.

The development of an aviation fuel service system, as well as U-Tapao Airport and the Eastern Aviation City, are making steady progress, he added. These projects are being carried out by Global Aero Alliance Assets, a joint venture between BAFS and PTT Oil and Retail Plc.