The Thai government aims to boost investment in the country’s industrial east this year by 44% to around 300 billion baht, a deputy prime minister said on Monday, after a 45% drop last year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The amount would be a substantial increase over last year’s 209 billion baht invested in projects in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), or 43% of the country’s total investment, Supattanapong Punmeechaow told a briefing.
“Given the outbreak, last year’s figures were still OK. The EEC still attracted foreign investors,” he said, adding Japan and China remained the biggest two foreign investors.
The EEC straddles eastern provinces and is a centrepiece of government efforts to boost growth and encourage investment, particularly in high-tech industries. Investors are allowed to rent land for up to 99 years.
This year the government will encourage both domestic and foreign investment, including by providing competitive incentives and meeting investors, Mr Supattanapong said.
More investors should return to Southeast Asia, including Thailand, after the coronavirus situation improves, he said.
The country is targeting the immunisation of 19 million people against the coronavirus in a first phase of inoculations starting later this month. – The Bangkok Post