Businesses do best in the Eastern Economic Corridor

Foreign and domestic companies in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) had higher profits on average than firms in any other part of the country in 2018, evidence that government efforts to create the most advantageous ecosystem for industry are succeeding.

The EEC is the showcase advanced development area in the country. It provides a home to many businesses in the 12 sectors the government believes will form the foundations of Thailand’s green and higher-tech economy as outlined in the 20-year national strategy named Thailand 4.0.

The EEC consists of three provinces – Rayong, Chonburi, and Chachoengsao – adjacent to the capital Bangkok. The government has been investing heavily in infrastructure in the EEC to support the next-level industries locating there.

According to statistics released on the balance sheets of businesses in the area in 2018, the latest year for which full-year statistics were available, 35,650 firms operating in Chonburi garnered $3.4 billion in net profits from $68 billion revenue. In Rayong, 8,962 businesses had $7.7 billion net profit from $68 billion in revenue. In Chachoengsao, 4,068 businesses earned $1.1 billion net profit from $18.4 billion in revenue.

About 95 percent of the businesses that submitted their balance sheets are small businesses, 2.7 percent are medium-sized, and 1.94 percent are large businesses.

Investments in the 12-targeted industries that are concentrating in the EEC have a total value so far of $12.7 billion. The government has pledged to launch a smart city project in the zone and ensure it is an area for green living. The blueprint for the smart city project was released to the public in December 2019.