Meeting with Ministry of Industry on Eastern Economic Corridor ( EEC)
On April 7, 2017, an AMCHAM delegation, led by Jeffrey Nygaard, AMCHAM’S Board President and comprised of senior representatives from Seagate, Caterpillar, IBM, General Motors, Ford, and WHAHemaraj, met with Dr. Uttama Savanayana, Minister of Industry, and his team to discuss the Eastern Economic Corridor ( EEC) development plan, which is Thailand’s flagship project under the Thailand 4.0 strategy, including the 10 targeted industries, incentives and investment opportunities for U. S. companies. Jeff expressed AMCHAM’S support for the ‘ pracharat’ ( public- private partnerships) model and Thailand 4.0 policy to enhance the country’s global competitiveness and emphasized that AMCHAM is keenly interested in the initiatives, incentives and investment opportunities for American businesspeople under the EEC plan, which is designed to be the region’s leading economic zone of the future. The Minister applauded AMCHAM’S interest and expressed the Thai government’s firm commitment in moving forward with the EEC development project, which is the springboard to Thailand 4.0. The EEC Bill is expected to be passed by the National Legislative Assembly in the coming months. The Minister affirmed the EEC project’s continuity after the general elections. During the initial phase, high speed rail link will be developed between U- Tapao and Bangkok area airports as the core project. A master plan for ‘ new cities’ is also in the making, beginning with Chachoengsao.
In order for a new project proposal to obtain approval for EEC investment incentives, it has to be innovationdriven and in line with the EEC criteria and Thailand 4.0 policy. Certain parts of the EEC will be designated as free trade zone areas, such as U- Tapao. The Minister emphasized that the success of the EEC would depend on good coordination among government agencies and cooperation from the private sector.
Regarding human capital development, Jeff expressed AMCHAM’S interest to be part of the education- industry collaboration and willingness to engage with some of the 12 Public- Private Collaborative Committees. The Minister welcomed AMCHAM’S initiative and vowed to help facilitate its involvement in the ‘ pracharat’ process.
Minister Uttama ( center) with AMCHAM Board President Jeffrey Nygaard ( left) and representatives of AMCHAM member companies