The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) attracts an increasing number of investors. In 2019, the EEC generated over THB100 billion from outside investment.
To keep the momentum going, the Deputy Prime Minister has instructed the Eastern Economic Corridor Policy Committee (EECPC) to ensure that six key infrastructure projects in the region begin this year.
The six projects encompass the high-speed train route linking Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao airports; U-tapao airport; a centre to handle the maintenance, repair and overhaul of planes; the third phase of Map Ta Phut port; the third phase of Laem Chabang port and the development of Digital Park Thailand (EECd).
These projects will be implemented in line with the Smart City project in Chachoengsao province to attract new investment.
Once the projects are underway, they will benefit the grassroots economy in the three provinces of Chachoengsao, Chonburi and Rayong.
The Board of Investment (BOI) has been assigned to create an incentive package to promote investment and encourage the private sector to support grassroots economic development through agriculture and tourism.
The Ministry of Finance and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will work together to develop 300,000 to 400,000 Smart Farmers nationwide. Currently, Thailand has 100,000 Smart Farmers.
The government has set a target of 10 million tourists arriving at U-Tapao airport; the establishment of partnerships between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and major businesses, and reducing the number of low-income earners in the EEC from 350,000 people to zero within three years.
The Secretary-General of the EECPC stated that the government has expedited EEC development through legal measures and infrastructure projects.
They will generate THB300 billion for the economy annually and contribute to gross domestic product (GDP) growth by 1.5 to 2% each year.
Thailand better positioned to develop e-commerce
Meanwhile, another article noted that online shopping is increasingly popular in key ASEAN cities, as a result of improved infrastructure and the variety of payment options, including cash-on-delivery or bank transfer.
Moreover, online marketplaces provide a wide array of imported items, attractive promotions and discounts.
E-commerce is also an attractive alternative for people in rural areas where shopping malls may not exist, and for those who live in cities where traffic congestion is a major issue.
This is especially true when it comes to consumer electronics and IT gadgets – a category among the most researched online, alongside apparel and cosmetics.
Countries with more developed infrastructure, such as Malaysia and Thailand, are better positioned to develop e-commerce. Thailand could be set to experience a surge in e-commerce activities over the coming years.
First, alliances have been formed between Chinese e-commerce giants and large Thai retailers with extensive distribution networks.
Second, Thailand already has adequate infrastructure connectivity, and there has been a significant rise in the number of e-commerce logistics enablers.
Third, the government is proactively pushing for e-payment adoption via the Promptpay scheme and use of QR codes.
Fourth, Thailand has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in ASEAN.
Thus, as 2020 rolls in, it is clear that the Thai government is pushing for digital infrastructure across sectors in order to fully manifest its Thailand 4.0 objectives.