Thailand: EEC targets thrown out as forecasts fogged by crisis

  • The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Office is set to revise its investment target and strategy for 2020.
  • Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the EEC Office, said the EEC has been keeping a close watch on investment but it remains difficult to predict because nobody knows how long the pandemic will last.
  • The EEC is part of the government’s strategy to move the economy towards high technology. Spanning Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong provinces, the EEC is expected to host 12 targeted S-curve industries: cars; smart electronics; affluent, medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; food; robotics for industry; logistics and aviation; biofuels and biochemicals; digital; medical services; defence; and education development.
  • The government estimates actual investment value in the corridor at THB300bn annually.
  • In 1Q20, the EEC drew investment applications for a total of 117 projects, up from 116 projects in 1Q19. The value of those investments tanked 36.6% y/y to THB47.6bn, from THB75.1bn in 1Q19.
  • The value of investment applications for the EEC made up 67% of total applications worth THB71.4bn submitted to the Board of Investment (BoI) in 1Q20.
  • According to Mr Kanit, the new investment target and strategy should align with changing investment sentiment, with a focus on promotion of medical services that provide disease and pandemic treatment.
  • “Thailand should focus on developing equipment to test for infection, vaccines to prevent disease and new medical equipment for emergency rooms,” he said.

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