TUESDAY, March 05, 2024

Cabinet approves operational plan for trillion-baht EEC smart city project

Cabinet approves operational plan for trillion-baht EEC smart city project

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the operational plan for a 1.35-trillion-baht business hub and smart city project in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), government spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek said.

Under the plan, the city will be constructed by 2027 and developed as one of the world’s top 10 smart cities by 2037, said Ratchada.

“The city will also serve as a model for development of other smart cities throughout Thailand,” she added.

This is the fifth infrastructure megaproject in the EEC, following the high-speed railway link between three airports, the expansion of U-tapao airport, Map Ta Phut Industrial Port phase 3, and Laem Chabang Port phase 3.

The 10-year smart city project will be divided into three phases.

In the first phase (2023-2027), the business and financial hub plus government and residential complexes will be constructed on 5,795 rai of land (40% of the whole project). Under the second phase (2028-2029), the business hub will be expanded and a medical centre built on 4,254 rai of land (29%). The final phase (2030-2032), will see the remaining 4,570 rai (31%) developed as commercial and residential complexes to accommodate the growing population.

Ratchada said 1.18 trillion baht or 87.5% of the 1.35-trillion-baht budget will come from the private sector. The government will add 37.67 billion baht (2.8%) and 131.11 billion baht (9.7%) will come from state enterprises or public-private partnership.

The government estimates the smart city will accommodate 350,000 people by 2032 and generate at least 200,000 jobs worth at least 1.2 trillion baht. The new business hub is expected to attract 150 to 300 start-up companies investing about 1.35 trillion baht in the EEC.

The project will boost Thailand’s GDP by an estimated 2 trillion baht over 10 years, said Ratchada.

Leased land and property in the EEC business hub and smart city will be transferred back to the government in 50 years, when their value is expected to have risen five times, added Ratchada.