Bangkok – The projected substantial investment in eastern provinces under the government’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project could help boost the country’s economy by 5 percent in 2018, according to officials.
Secretary-general of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Office, Kanit Sangsubhan, said investments in the eastern provinces will help raise Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the latter half of this year.
For the first five years under the EEC’s implementation plan, there are four investment categories with a total of 15 projects. These included a project to develop U-Tapao international airport as the eastern region’s aviation city, a high-speed rail project connecting Don Muang, Suvarnabhumi, and U-Tapao airports, the expansion of Laem Chabang deep sea port, Maptaphut, and Sattahip ports, the construction of a dual-track railroad connecting the three ports, and the construction of highways and roads.
The total investment cost is projected at no less than 1.7 trillion baht, or 49.9 billion US dollars.
The 200 billion baht U-Tapao airport development project and the 64.3 billion baht high-speed rail link connecting the three airports are expected to commence their TOR drafting processes this year, with actual processing by private firms expected to start by the end of this year. Both projects are expected to be completed by 2023.
After completion, U-Tapao airport will be able to accommodate 15 million passengers over the first five years and the capacity will increase to 30 million in 10 years, and to 60 million in 15 years.