Industry minister confirms continuity of EEC

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BANGKOK, Aug 10 (TNA) -- Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana assured that the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme would continue despite a change to the government.

Addressing Japanese investors in his discussion on the EEC, Mr Uttama said that the EEC was bringing about considerable benefits and the next government would surely proceed with it.

In the discussion organized by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Mr Uttama said main investment projects under the EEC were making progress and they thus confirmed the EEC would be realized. All government organizations were supporting it and the support attracted investors from many countries, the industry minister said.

Mr Uttama also said that Thailand was ready to expand cooperation under the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA) to support the EEC.

He also said Japanese investors had spent US$3.7 billion in Thailand, accounting for 43% of foreign direct investment in the EEC.

Mr Uttama dismissed JETRO’s earlier remark that Thailand put too much hope on the EEC. He said Japanese operators were naturally cautious. Most Japanese investors in the country already participated in the EEC and JETRO just told him that Japanese operators had positive attitudes towards investment potential in Thailand.

Mr Uttama said he was confident that investment in applications for promotional privileges for businesses in the EEC would reach 300 billion baht this year as target, out of the Board of Investment’s overall target of 720-billion-baht investment projects in 2018. (TNA)