BANGKOK, 29 October 2017: Thailand’s business travel sector should gain a push from the government’s “Thailand 4.0” development strategy and elaborate plans to develop the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) including a major airport expansion.
The Eastern Economic Corridor plan, announced earlier this year, covers three provinces; Chachoengsao, Chonburi, Rayong, east and southeast, of Bangkok.
Public and private investment could reach THB1.5 trillion (USD43 Billion) over five years.
“Along the path to success for many of the Thailand 4.0 goals, there are opportunities for meetings, conventions and trade exhibitions,” said Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau president, Chiruit Isarangkun na Ayuthaya.
He was speaking at a recent seminar titled “Eastern Economic Corridor: Fast track to Thailand 4.0 hosted by TCEB attended by local and foreign business investors.
“Investment is good for our industry especially targeted at infrastructure such as airports, seaports, rail and road. It will allow us to bring in more exhibitions, commented Thai Exhibition Association president, Talun Theng.
“The EEC is part of the strategy to implement the Thailand 4.0 vision in a right direction,” said Thailand Development Research Institute president, Dr Somkiat Tangkitvanich.
According to TDRI, U-Tapao, an airport located 30 km south of Pattaya resort and close to the Sattahip commercial seaport, will be upgraded at a cost of THB 200 billion (USD5.7 billion).
The project is a “cornerstone of EEC” and part of a fast-rail transport triangle that will link three airports all in the vicinity of Bangkok – Suvarnabhumi, 30 km east of the capital, Don Mueang, 25 km to the north and U-tapao, 150 km to the southeast.
U-Tapao’s upgrade starts with the addition of a second runway and two new terminals. In the long-term it will become a regional hub for airlines and a major aviation maintenance repair centre.
Private investment in the EEC area will enjoy special incentives, such as tax privileges, long-term land lease, and fast-tracked administrative procedures.