Thailand 4.0 is an economic model that aims to transform the Thai economy from industry-driven into innovation-driven. Past economic development models placed emphasis on agriculture (Thailand 1.0), light industry (Thailand 2.0), and advanced industry (Thailand 3.0).
Thai economy has boomed during the first years of Thailand 3.0 platform. But in recent years, it has grown by only 3% to 4%. Thailand has been stuck in the middle-income trap for more than 20 years. Since the world is getting more competitive, Thailand has seen the necessity to launch Thailand 4.0 to boost its economy to become an innovation driven and a high-income country.
Four Objectives of Thailand 4.0
- Economic Prosperity – to create a value-based economy that is driven by innovation, technology and creativity.
- Social Well-being – to create a society that moves forward without leaving anyone behind through realization of the full potential of all members of society.
- Raising Human Values – to uplift the competency level of Thai people.
- Environmental Protection – to become a livable society that possesses an economic system capable of adjusting to climate change and low carbon society.
What is the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC)?
The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is the initial project under the Thailand 4.0 scheme for the economic development of Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard. This project will drive the country’s investment in boosting innovation as well as acquisition and development of new and advance technology. This will mark as a momentous growth and transformation of Thailand’s economy. With good infrastructure and investment platform, the EEC can become the center for trade and investment thus making Thailand an attractive investment destination.
Initially, the EEC project will cover 3 eastern provinces namely Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao covering a total area of 13,000 square kilometers. This area is being designated and promoted because of their capacity to increase investment possibilities and facilitate development of economic activities because of its strong recognition of the Thailand’s targeted industries and support of the Thailand 4.0 initiative. The Eastern Seaboard has proven success in Automobile, Electronic and Petrochemical industries, and has established strong connection to neighboring countries. It is EEC’s focus to improve this existing connectivity while promoting innovation.
Implementation Programmes for the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Development
- Infrastructure Development Implementation
- Targeted Industries Development Implementation
- Human Resource, Education, Research, and Technology Development Implementation
- Tourism Development and Promotion Implementation
- New City and Community Development
- Business Hub and Finance Hub Development Implementation
- PR and Mass Engagement Implementation
- Modern Agriculture, Irrigation, and Environment Implementation
Major Development Projects
Air Transport Development Plan
- -Modernization of U-Tapao International Airport with expansion of existing runway and new passenger and cargo terminals.
- -Transform U-Tapao Airport into a hub for Aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO).
Land Transport Development Project
- -High Speed and double track railway and motorway expansion to provide Interconnectivity between industrial sites across the country to 3 deep sea ports and 3 international airports.
Sea Transport Development Plan
- -Expansion of Laem Chabang Port Phase 3 to accommodate freight containers up to 18M Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEU) and 3M cars annually.
- -Development of Mapthaphut Industrial Port Phase 3. This is designated for the transport of Liquid Freight and natural gas, which are important for raw materials for energy production and advanced petrochemical industry. The enhancement of this area’s infrastructure will be an advantage to better facilitate transportation of these products.
- -Sattahip Commercial Port will be upgraded and modernized to become an international and cruise ferry port.
- -Establishing new ferry port to connect major tourist destinations, designed to connect both sides of the Gulf of Thailand.
- The Next-Generation Automotive Industry
- Automation, Robotics and Intelligent Electronics Industry
- The Advance Agriculture and Biotechnology
- Food Processing Industry
- Medical Devices and Supplies Industries
- High Wealth, Medical Tourism and Comprehensive Healthcare Industry
- Digital Industry
- Satellite, Aviation and Logistics Industry
- Biofuels and Biochemicals Industries
What are the benefits of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) to investors?
The EEC intends to welcome foreign companies to invest in the Special Economic Zone with attractive incentives, as well as an assurance of infrastructure readiness and ease of doing business in Thailand.
- Exemption from Corporate Income Tax for up to 15 years
- Subsidies from the Fund for supporting expenses incurred in the investment, research and development, promotion of innovation or development of specific personnel of businesses in targeted industries
- Lowest personal income tax rate of 17% for executives and experts
- Long-term land lease for up to 50, and a renewal for up to 49 years
- Permission to own land for BOI promoted projects
- Work permit and visa assistance and a 5-year business visa
- Special Public-Private-Partnership procedure
- Fast-track Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval
- Foreign currency account and use of foreign currencies without exchanging into Thai baht
- One-Stop Service Centre to facilitate foreign investors
The government is confident that the Easter Economic Corridor will mark its completion by year 2021. By then, the 3 Eastern provinces will turn out to be the center for technological manufacturing and services with strong land, sea and air connectivity to its ASEAN neighbors.
Please See Related Pages under Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC)
- Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi)
- Digital Park Thailand
- U-Tapao International Airport Development