Thailand Cements Status as ASEAN Regional Logistics Hub

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Thai EEC ranked 3rd by the World Bank and rises 11 spots in World Competitiveness Ranking

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With the key infrastructure upgrades currently in progress within the Eastern Economic Corridor, companies looking to expand operations in this market aren’t going to be able to pass up Thailand’s strategic infrastructure advantages.

Thailand Board of Investment’s New York office announces the country was recently ranked third in the ASEAN region on the 2016 Logistics Performance Index, the World Bank’s international ranking of trade logistics and infrastructure around the world.

The announcement comes on the heels of the Thai government’s recently rolled out plan to revitalize a heavily industrial sector of the country known as the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). The plan mostly focuses on infrastructural improvements to the region’s airports, deep sea ports, railways and roadways.

With the expected improvements to the EEC corridor, Thailand’s three key airports – U-Tapao, Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi – will be connected to one another via high-speed rail, and Map Ta Phut, Sattahip, and Laem Chabang deep sea ports will be connected to industrial clusters in the region via a double track railway. Developments to U-Tapao Airport in particular, including a new passenger terminal, runway, maintenance repair overhaul (MRO) facility, and training center, as well as the high-speed rail connection, will convert the airport and surrounding area into an “Aerotropolis.”

The EEC development projects are meant to completely overhaul and upgrade the EEC region’s infrastructure and logistical capabilities and to attract global companies seeking to establish a foothold in ASEAN and specifically Thailand, particularly for target industries favored within the region. These include aviation, electric automobile production, robotics, agriculture and biotechnology, digital, and medical services, and are intended to directly benefit from these improvements.

“We are thrilled that Thailand is being recognized as a leading trade logistics hub, not only within ASEAN but around the world as well,” said Ms. Ajarin Pattanapanchai, Deputy Secretary General of the Thailand Board of Investment. “With the key infrastructure upgrades currently in progress within the Eastern Economic Corridor, companies looking to expand operations in this market aren’t going to be able to pass up Thailand’s strategic infrastructure advantages and the ease of doing business in the country.”

Several companies have already taken note and sought to establish operations in Thailand, seeking to take advantage of the country’s ever-increasing logistical capability. Automaker BMW Group Thailand announced the opening of a new 14,000 sq. m. parts distribution center in the EEC-adjacent Samut Prakan province, and Mazda plans to produce electric vehicles in the EEC region as well. DKSH Business Unit Healthcare recently broke ground on a new distribution facility in Bangkok, and Amway, the global direct-selling company, has also recently opened a 10,000 sq. m. distribution facility. In addition, Alibaba Group plans to build an e-commerce park in the EEC to serve the CLMV market by 2019.

Thailand also jumped 11 spots on the 2016 World Competitiveness Ranking, rising to 27th place, which proves the government’s commitment to infrastructure and economic development is already showing significant, positive effects.

About BOI
The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) is the investment promotion agency for Thailand that facilitates foreign direct investment. BOI’s services are free of charge and customized to help business succeed in Thailand. For more information, please visit http://www.boi.go.th and http://www.thinkasiainvestthailand.com.

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