Tech transfer key to success of Eastern Economic Corridor
Technology transfer by foreign firms will be key to the success of the Eastern Economic Corridor advanced industry zone, the director-general of the corridor said last week, as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha met with executives from companies interested in investing in the zone. The corridor is expected topropel the Kingdom to a higher level of development and competitiveness.
The Prime Minister chaired the first meeting of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Development Policy Committee, which groups all relevant ministries and agencies together to oversee holistic, effective and efficient progress on the zone. The committee agreed on the establishment of the “eastern aviation city,” or “Aeropolis,” in the area containing U-Tapao International Airport.
Aviation is one of 10 industries considered essential to Thailand 4.0, the 20-year national strategy designed to transform Thailand’s economy and society from reliance on assembly-manufacturing to creativity, innovation, higher-technologies and research and development. The EEC will be the nexus of, and showcase for Thailand 4.0.
Later that day, the Prime Minister met with 21 business leaders including top executives from Amata Corporation, The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), PTT Global Chemical Company Limited, Senior Aerospace (Thailand) Limited, and BMW. They channeled ideas and voiced support for the EEC and Thailand 4.0.
The EEC is already drawing major investments from overseas, with European aerospace firm Airbus announcing it intends to invest in a maintenance, repair and overhaul center at U-Tapao to service its growing number of planes owned by airlines all across Asia.
Amata is a leading industrial estate developer in Thailand and the region and in line with Thailand 4.0 is developing a ‘smart city’ in Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate that will reduce power consumption. The firm also has an ambitious plan to build a“city of education” estate that will be home to seven educational institutes to support research and development and new technologies.
JETRO executives said that Japanese investors are confident on the clear direction of the EEC and optimistic about the Thai government’s recent announcement of the Investment Promotion Act 2017.
The Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) unveiled its Investment 4.0 policy to align with Thailand 4.0. Those investing in the EEC will be eligible for special incentives considered the ‘most enticing ever’ offered in Thailand.
These include significant deductions and exemptions on corporate income taxes. The government will also provide other support, including eliminating barriers, rules and regulations in order to generate real, high-value investments as well as One Stop Service to facilitate investment in the area.
Royal Thai Embassy