06 Oct Infrastructure advantage
China’s investment in SE Asia has grown multi-folds and Thailand is no exception. China has invested in Thailand under two flagship initiatives: Thailand 4.0 and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), a large special economic zone (SEZ) south-east of the Thai capital, Bangkok. The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), a pilot project for the economic development of Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard, is seen by experts as one of the significant investment drivers in infrastructure, industrial projects, and social projects, which will in turn strengthen the economic, GDP growth and social development of not only Thailand, but also other countries through interconnectivity. During the first five years, approximately US$50BN of combined public and private investment projects are expected in the EEC. To further support innovation-led business within the EEC, the investment environment features generous tax and non-tax incentives as well as fewer regulatory restrictions.
At present, Bangkok is served by the BTS (Sky-train), MRT (Underground and Purple Line) light railway systems, and the Airport Rail Link. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is working on expansion of the city’s light rail network under its M-MAP plan. A US$ 14.9BN project is underway to upgrade routes to double-track railways and build 1.435 metre standard gauge tracks. Thailand’s inter-city railway network is also being expanded to further improve transport between Bangkok and the Eastern Seaboard area. Thailand’s major airlines Bangkok Airways and Thai Lion Air have established MRO centres to service their own aircraft and those of other airlines covering Thailand and the region. Thai Airways has also developed MRO facilities in a joint venture with Airbus in 2018, offering maintenance and line services.