The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) this month will invite estate operators to develop 12 industrial zones nationwide on 18,000 rai (2,880 hectares), with an expected investment of Bt27 billion.
Industry Ministry permanent secretary Vitoon Simachokdee said the IEAT’s board saw the need to set up additional industrial zones, which would be divided into three categories. The first is for local and foreign small and medium-sized enterprises. This category will be established in the Northern, Northeastern and Central regions.
The second category will be the Chiang Khong logistic zone in Chiang Rai, and the third will be for industrial zones in eight provinces – Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Mukdahan, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom and Nong Khai.
The IEAT will provide incentives such as a waiver of the authority’s service fee for two years, financing for one-stop service offices covering 500 square metres and not exceeding Bt10 million for each zone, plus a campaign to draw businesses to set up factories in the zones.
The IEAT will this month accept applications from industrial-zone operators to develop these zones.
The IEAT expects that the development of these 12 zones will require 18,000 rai and cost Bt27 billion. The investment by businesses setting up in the zones is expected to be Bt517 billion and to create 212,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, IEAT governor Verapong Chaiperm said the board also approved the establishment of a subsidiary to invest in industrial zones overseas to serve Thai businesses that want to invest in other countries.
The Industry Ministry will propose establishment of this subsidiary for consideration by the National Economic and Social Development Board and the Cabinet. The consideration process is expected to take three to six months. The subsidiary will invest in Kunming and Nanning in China and Dawei and Thilawa in Myanmar.
Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk said the new industrial zones were meant to prepare the country for the Asean Economic Community in 2015. At that time, new industrial zones are expected to be spawned in the region while more foreign businesses are expected to invest in Thailand, especially Japanese companies that want to relocate their auto and electronics production bases here.
Source : The Nation 1 March 2013