Eastern Economic Corridor
The Eastern Economic Corridor (Abrv: EEC; Thai: ระเบียงเศรษฐกิจภาคตะวันออก, romanized: Rabīang Sētthakit Phāk Tawan-ǭk, RTGS: rabiang settha kit phak tawan ok) officially the Eastern Special Development Zone (ESDZ), is a special economic zone of three provinces in eastern Thailand. Collectively, these provinces occupy an area of 13,266 km2 (5,122 sq mi), and in 2016 had an estimated population of over 2.8 million.
Eastern Economic Corridor
Special Economic Zone
|Eastern Special Development Zone|
|Coordinates: 15.18493°N 120.5394°E|
|Before establishment||Eastern seaboard|
|NCPO head order||17 January 2017|
|ESDZ act||15 May 2018|
|Governing body||Eastern Special Development Zone Policy Office|
|• Type||Special economic zone|
|• Secretariat||Kanit Sangsubhan|
|• Total||13,266 km2 (5,122 sq mi)|
|• Density||220/km2 (580/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+7 (ICT)|
The zone was established on 17 January 2017, at the direction of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), with the mission of promoting economic integration across the (Eastern seaboard). The first law of the EEC is the Eastern Special Development Zone Act, proclaimed on 15 May 2019.
The Eastern Seaboard Development Programme (ESDP) was initiated as part of the Fifth Economic and Social Development Plan of Thailand (1982–1986). It aimed at developing the region of the eastern seaboard in order to promote industrial growth and to decentralize economic and population growth. The Thai government approached the World Bank for funding, but was turned away as, in the eyes of the bank, the project lacked "economic rationality". Japan rescued the project by providing a modest 178.8 billion yen (US$1.6 billion) in loans, underwriting the construction of 16 projects: ports, roads, waterworks, and industrial parks. Japanese companies then invested heavily in the region. As of 2020, many of the estimated 5,500 Japanese companies in Thailand have facilities in the area.
After the 2014 coup, the NCPO announced the creation of a special economic zone (SEZ) called the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) with a budget of 1.5 trillion baht (US$43 billion) over its first five years. It is a key component of the "Thailand 4.0" economic policy announced in 2016. As of 2017, the prime minister had invoked the special powers of Section 44 of the interim charter to revoke city plans in three provinces to remove obstacles to EEC development. Planners see the region as strategically important as it borders the gulf as well as being close to Bangkok, and two major airports.
The economic zone includes three principal provinces and two peripheral provinces.
|Chachoengsao||Chachoengsao||17 January 2017||715,009||5,351 km2
(2,066 sq mi)
|Chonburi||Chonburi||17 January 2017||1,535,445||4,363 km2
(1,685 sq mi)
|Rayong||Rayong||17 January 2017||723,361||1,568.737 km2
(605.693 sq mi)
|Bangkok||Associated Area||10,820,921||1,004 km2
(388 sq mi)
|Samut Prakan||Samut Prakan||Associated Area||1,326,608||1,004 km2
(388 sq mi)
The Eastern Special Development Zone Policy Office (ESDZPO) is the governing body of the Eastern Economic Corridor. It is an independent public agency, reporting directly to the prime minister. It was established on 15 May 2019 by the Eastern Special Development Zone (2018) Act and replaced the Eastern Economic Corridor Office.
The EEC Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General of the Eastern Economic Corridor.
|No.||Name||Took office||Left office||Notes|
|1||Kanit Sangsubhan||17 January 2017||–|
The EEC had a 2013 GDP of US$158.79bn (on a purchasing power parity basis), and US$63.76bn (on a nominal basis), about 15% of Thailand's GDP.
- First S-curve industries : Next-generation automotive; intelligent electronics; advanced agriculture and biotechnology; food processing; high wealth and medical tourism
- New S-surve industries : Digital; robotics; aviation and logistics; comprehensive healthcare; biofuel and biochemical
- Special Services Promotional Zones : Implementation of infrastructure and technological development
- Industrial Promotional Zone : To better facilitate the development of 10 targeted industries
|EECa||Aerotropolis||Royal Thai Navy||Declared||10.4 km2
(4.0 sq mi)
|U-Tapao International Airport||Chonburi, and Rayong|
|EECd||Space krenovapolis||Ministry of Digital Economy and Society||Declared||1.28 km2
(0.49 sq mi)
|EECh||High-speed rail||State Railway of Thailand||Declared||1.3712 km2
(0.5294 sq mi)
|Eastern high-speed railway||Bangkok, Samut Prakan,
|EECi||Aripolis, and Biopolis||National Science and Technology Development Agency||Declared||5.6 km2
(2.2 sq mi)
|Wang Chan Valley||Rayong|
|EECmd||Comprehensive healthcare||Thammasat University||Planned||0.4256 km2
(0.1643 sq mi)
|Thammasat University Pattaya||Chonburi|
|EECgenomics||Genomics||Burapha University||Planned||0.0592 km2
(0.0229 sq mi)
|Faculty of Pharmacy, BU||Chonburi|
|HESIE 4||Robotics and next-generation automotive||WHA Corp||Declared||3.2 km2
(1.2 sq mi)
|Smart Park||Robotics, logistics, medical||Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand||Declared||2.3456 km2
(0.9056 sq mi)
|Ban Pho Plant||Next-generation automotive||Toyota Motor Thailand||Planned||0.8032 km2
(0.3101 sq mi)
|Map Ta Phut||Biofuel and biochemical||Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand||Planned||11.54888 km2
(4.45905 sq mi)
|Asia||Asia Industrial Estate||Food processing||Planned||5.152 km2
(1.989 sq mi)
The Eastern Economic Corridor is served by U-Tapao International Airport, one of three main commercial airports of Thailand. As Bangkok's two international airports are operating beyond capacity, the government intends to turn U-Tapao into a third major destination for airlines. A new second terminal, which will increase airport capacity from 800,000 to three million persons per year. Terminal 2 was partially opened in November 2018 and was officially opened in February 2019.
There are also 41 direct flights landing from China weekly with more airlines scheduled to announce soon. Airport director, Rear Adm Worapol Tongpricha, said the 620 million baht terminal is the start of a three-year, first-phase development. In the second phase, the government will boost the capacity further to 15 million people.
A high-speed rail line is planned to serve the EEC. The Don Mueang–Suvarnabhumi–U-Tapao high-speed railway will connect Don Mueang International Airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport and U-Tapao International Airport. On 24 October 2019, a 224.5 billion baht (US$7.4bn) contract was signed by the Thai government and a consortium led by Charoen Pokphand Holding to build the railway. The consortium includes Charoen Pokphand (CP); Ch. Karnchang PLC (CK); Bangkok Expressway and Metro PLC (BEM); Italian-Thai Development PLC (ITD); and China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC). The 220 kilometre line will consist of 181 kilometres of elevated track, eight kilometres of underground track, and two kilometres of surface track. Construction of the rail line will begin 12 to 24 months from the date of contract signing. Trains on the route will operate at maximum speeds of 250 kmph. The consortium will have the right to operate and manage the rail line for 50 years after which project assets will revert to the government.
A passenger-only ferry service from Pattaya to Hua Hin began operation on 12 January 2017 and is operated by Royal Passenger Liner. By road, the journey takes five to six hours. The ferry shortens travel time to about two hours, subject to sea conditions. The ferry cruises at 27 knots on the 113 km journey across the Gulf of Thailand with a maximum passenger capacity of 150 persons. Larger ferries carrying up to 260 people may be added to the service later. Ferries capable of carrying vehicles are projected for 2020.
The Eastern Economic Corridor is served by two ports: Laem Chabang Port and Map Ta Phut Port. Laem Chabang Port is main international port from its opening in 1991. It is Thailand's largest port. The port occupies 2,572 acres (1,041 ha) and is capable of handling the largest (Post-Panamax) vessels.
Health, education and research
The EEC is home to Burapha University, Amata University (EEC campus of National Taiwan University), CMKL University (Carnegie Mellon University), and Asian Institute of Hospitality Management (Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, Switzerland). The University of Tokyo (Japan), Kyoto University (Japan), Waseda University (Japan), Hohai University (China), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Auckland University of Technology plan to open campuses in the EEC.
- "Corporate Identity". Eastern Economic Corridor Office. www.eeco.or.th. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
- คำสั่งหัวหน้าคณะรักษาความสงบแห่งชาติที่ ๒/๒๕๖๐ เรื่อง การพัฒนาระเบียงเศรษฐกิจพิเศษภาคตะวันออก ราชกิจจานุเบกษา เล่ม ๑๓๔ ตอน ๑๙ ง พิเศษ หน้า ๓๐ ๑๗ มกราคม ๒๕๖๐
- พระราชบัญญัติเขตพัฒนาพิเศษภาคตะวันออก พ.ศ. ๒๕๖๑
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- Villadiego, Laura (23 July 2017). "THAILAND CHASES CHINESE MONEY, BUT AT WHAT COST?". South China Morning Post (SCMP). Retrieved 30 October 2017.
- Hall, Tom (29 October 2017). "Empowering ASEAN exhibitions". Exhibition World. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
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- "Gross Regional and Provincial Product, 2013 Edition". Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB). April 2015. ISSN 1686-0799. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- "Targeted Industries". Eastern Economic Corridor Office. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "Overview of the Promotional Zone". Eastern Economic Corridor Office. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "U-TAPAO Airport And Eastern Airport City Development" (PDF). Eastern Economic Corridor Office. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "DIGITAL PARK THAILAND" (PDF). Eastern Economic Corridor Office. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "Wang Chan Valley" (PDF). Eastern Economic Corridor Office. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "EECmd" (PDF). Eastern Economic Corridor Office. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "EECgenomics" (PDF). Eastern Economic Corridor Office. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "HESIE4" (PDF). Eastern Economic Corridor Office. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "Smart Park" (PDF). Eastern Economic Corridor Office. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "Ban Pho Plant" (PDF). Eastern Economic Corridor Office. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "Map Ta Phut" (PDF). Eastern Economic Corridor Office. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "Asia" (PDF). Eastern Economic Corridor Office. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
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- Royal Passenger Liner
- "Pattaya-Hua Hin ferry to begin on New Year's Day". Bangkok Post. 13 November 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
- "Information". Laem Chabang Port. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- "Les Roches Global Hospitality Education". Ministry of Education. 5 January 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
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