Thailand Approves Free Trade Zone for the EEC, Targets USD 62 Billion Investment

September 2022

The government of Thailand has recently announced that it aims for a USD 62 billion investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) over the next five years. The 2023-2027 plan for the EEC, a special economic zone, will include incentives for industries such as electric vehicles and medical technology. The EEC covers three provinces east of Bangkok’s capital and plays a key role in Thailand’s efforts to boost growth and encourage investment.

Thailand just approved a proposal from the EEC Policy Committee today (Tuesday) to upgrade the status of the EEC from a special economic zone to a free trade zone. As such, it will enhance incentives like income tax breaks and the easing of employment restrictions. Foreigners in the EEC will be allowed to work in restricted jobs, while tourists will be exempted from customs duties and excise taxes on purchasing locally-made products sold at airports in the EEC for an initial ten years.

In effect, according to the EEC Policy Committee’s proposal, the airport in the EEC will be upgraded to a world-class aviation and logistics hub for the wider Southeast Asian region.

(Sources: Reuters; ThaiPBS World)

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