Thailand's EEC Act Makes Way For ‘Smart City’ Project

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Thailand's BOI announces that “Eastern Special Development Zone Act”, enacted in May, includes advanced tech and IT innovation promotion.

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Technological innovation is the key to Thailand's future economic growth, and by investing in it today we ensure the best of Thailand is yet to come.

The “Eastern Special Development Zone Act,” or EEC Act, is now officially in effect. The EEC Act will spur development in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) region and promote investment in ten targeted industries, as well as calling for a new “Smart City” initiative, which will Thailand in line with this global trend of technological innovation.

The 2018 EEC Act is meant to further incentivize investment into the country’s Eastern Economic Corridor, which spans 21 industrial zones across the provinces of Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, and Rayong. This sector represents the industrial heart of Thailand; last year, 46% of all investment applications to the Board of Investment were for projects in the EEC. The EEC region’s connectivity to the country’s premier airports – Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao – as well as its deep sea ports and major highways are why many companies choose to establish operations in the EEC. The EEC Act will also speed up several infrastructure projects, including the construction of a high-speed railway connecting the major airports, as well as expansion of Map Ta Phut and Laem Chabang deep seaports and a major development of U-Tapao which will transform the airport into an Aerotropolis and MRO hub.

The 2018 EEC Act, and the new Smart City initiative, will be key components in the country’s economic and social transformation. Technological innovation is the key to Thailand’s future economic growth, and by investing in it today we insure the best of Thailand is yet to come.

Some of the benefits now available to companies that establish operations in the EEC include the right to own land to operate the business, corporate income tax exemptions, and visa privileges for foreign workers. While there are ten industries currently incentivized and emphasized by the Thai government, including next generation automotive, digital, medical, food, robotics, agriculture and biotechnology, the future of the Eastern Economic Corridor will heavily focus on technological innovation and on bringing Thailand’s economy into its next incarnation.

To this end, Thailand is offering two types of “Smart City” incentives: one, for investors who develop infrastructure systems (such as telecommunications systems like fiber optics and Wi-Fi), and two, for investors who are intelligent network developers. For these types of projects, BOI will grant investors 8 years of corporate income tax exemption along with other benefits. Likewise, attractive incentives exist for the EEC’s innovation corridor (EECi) and Digital Park Thailand (EECd), as well as the Science and Technology Park outside of the EEC – 13 and 12 years of corporate income tax exemptions, respectively.

According to Ms. Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General of Thailand Board of Investment, Thailand’s “Smart City” project is meant to change the quality of life of Thai people via six key platforms: efficient transport (Smart Mobility), education and social equity (Smart People), life security (Smart Living), ease of doing business (Smart Economy), efficient public services (Smart Governance), and green energy, clean and safe environment (Smart Energy & Environment).

Several companies are already looking to the promising “Smart City” project and expressing interest. For instance, Huawei, the leading Chinese communications technology company, is reviewing the project, and both South Korea and Austria’s governments are also discussing the project with Thailand and considering collaboration.

For more information on the EEC Act and Smart City incentives, please visit this link.

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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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David Margolis
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