BANGKOK, 30 June 2016: Thailand’s Cabinet has approved, Tuesday, a project to develop an Eastern Economic Corridor, mainly concentrating on the eastern seaboard north of Pattaya to Rayong.
The objective is to turn it ultimately into major economic zone in ASEAN.
According to the plan, Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao will be turned into a high-tech industry cluster, that will ultimately be one of ASEAN’s leading economic zone for industrial, infrastructure and urban development.
They are: next-generation automotive; smart electronics; affluent, medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; food for the future; robotics; aviation and logistics; biofuels and biochemical; digital; and medical hubs.
The EEC will also rely on developments in transport infrastructure, including airlines (U-Tapao Airport), sea (Sattahip Commercial Port, Laem Chabang Port and Map Ta Phut Port), land (motorway express Bangkok-Chonburi, Pattaya-Map Ta Phut and Laem Chabang-Nakhon Ratchasima) and rail (Chachoengsao-Khlong Sip Kao-Kaeng Khoi and Bangkok-Rayong).
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has assigned Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak to work with related ministries to conduct a detailed study of the project.
The study should be finished within the next three months.
According to the PM, developing the eastern seaboard and driving national economic growth, in industries and tourism is a priority.
The government has a policy to develop transport infrastructure, especially motorways linking big cities, to reduce transport time and logistics cost, as well as to increase safety in travel. There are also plans for a high-speed train.
A key factor in the plan is the expansion of U-Tapao Airport.
A rail line is also under study that will link Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, and U-Tapao airports. U-Tapao airport is located 30 km south of Pattaya near the Sattahiip naval base.