The eastern seaboard of Thailand has attracted
substantial investment during the past 30 years, including into
the petrochemicals, auto assembly and high-tech business
sectors. The area is served by three airports and two
deep-water ports. Both Thai and foreign companies have obtained
investment incentives from the board of investment (BOI) under
the Investment Promotion Act (1977).
During 2017, there were three Orders of the National Council
for Peace and Order to establish eastern special development
zones (ESDZ), which drove early steps towards establishing such
zones. To date, 24 ESDZs have been announced.
Six major eastern economic corridor (EEC) public-private
partnership (PPP) projects are also in progress:
- the U-Tapao International Airport and
- high-speed trains connecting three
- the development of Map Ta Phut Port Phase 3;
- the development of Laem Chabang Port
- the U-Tapao Maintenance, Repair and
Overhaul Centre (MRO Centre); and,
- innovation and digital parks.
The Eastern Special Development Zone Act BE 2561 (2018) (EEC
Act) was published on May 14 2018. It applies in three eastern
provinces: Rayong, Chonburi and Chachoengsao (and any other
area in the eastern part of Thailand to be prescribed in the
Royal Decree to be announced, as special development zones),
and prescribes a number of incentives for private investment.
It complements and builds upon the BOI's regime. It repeals the
three Orders mentioned above.
Certain parts of the EEC area have been designated as
special economic promotion zones (SEZ) within which 10 target
industries will enjoy additional privileges. These 10 target
- next-generation automotive;
- smart electronics;
- medical and wellness tourism;
- agriculture and biotechnology;
- food processing;
- aviation and logistics;
- biofuels and biochemicals;
- digital services; and,
- intensive medical and wellness hubs.
The additional privileges include: the exemption from or
reduction of taxes; the right to bring in foreign experts in
certain fields; a 50-year land lease, with the right to renew
for up to 49 years; the right to own land and condominiums for
the purpose of the business; exemptions from exchange control
regulations; and, exemptions from customs law compliance.
A one-stop service to facilitate the issuance of permits and
licences under a large number of laws will be established to
facilitate the start-up of business in the SEZs (sections 29 to
38 and 43 to 46).
The EEC office is located at: 5th Floor Industrial Estate
Authority of Thailand, 618 Nikhom Makkasan Road, Bangkok.
Applications for investment in the EEC should be made
through the BOI. See the BOI's website, in particular the
- promotional investment procedure;
- online request approval for promotional investment (E-BOI
- contract channels for investing in the
|Albert T. Chandler