The plan for the private sector to invest in setting up two green industrial estates in Khon Kaen province has shown major progress.
The zones in tambons Don Han and Tha Pra, in Muang district 16 kilometres from downtown, occupy 4,100 rai (656 hectares), said Vitoon Kamolnaruemet, president of the Federation of Thailand Industries’ Khon Kaen Chapter.
He revealed this during a forum on Sunday hosted by the chapter, the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) and Khon Kaen University. The forum invited community leaders in the two districts to express their opinions and present information on what a “green” industrial zone means and whether it will hurt the environment.
The FTI will hold another hearing with the community members of these two locations in a month.
Tanakorn Rangsimanop, former president of the Don Han Tambon Administration, said he supported the idea because it would create jobs in local communities. But he was concerned about the possible environmental impact, since most of Don Han is farmland, which could face problems from the establishment of factories.
Jidapa Mannaisajjathum, assistant to the IEAT governor, said there were 3,700 factories in 46 industrial zones in 14 provinces covering 150,000 rai and employing 530,000 workers. Most of the investment in the zones came from overseas, mainly Japan.
But there is no industrial zone in the Northeast, she said. The government has assigned the Industry Ministry to seek ways to expand into the region. The Cabinet in February also supported the introduction of green industrial zones in Khon Kaen and Udon Thani.
The seminar in Khon Kaen was aimed at educating people in the areas on the purpose of the zones’ establishment to spur growth and improve income distribution, Jidapa said.
Source : the Nation 30 April 2013