Bt12 bn budget backs Smart Park plan

Corporate February 08, 2018 01:00

By JIRAPAN BOONNOON
THE NATION

THE Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) plans to work with partners to set up a Smart Park project involving investment of more than Bt12 billion in the Eastern province of Rayong.



The project, occupying 1,500 rai, will help the drive the development of the so-called S-Curve industries that are at the heart of the government’s Thailand 4.0 vision.

 IEAT will invite more than 60 companies to participate in the project, with an official announcement to come out over the next 18 months.

IEAT governor Verapong Chaiperm said the agency would work with partners such as other government agencies, private companies and state enterprises to set up the park. The main partners in the frame include the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) office, PTT Polymer Logistics (PTT PL) and Global Utilizes Services.

The park will be established in the Maptaphut Industrial Estate, where alongside the supporting role for the development of the S-Curve industries, it will also serve the proposed Economic Fruit Corridor (EFC). The S-Curve industries include medical hub, research and development, aviation and aerospace, logistics, robotics and other digital industries. 

Verapong said the first stage of the Smart Park would be started within 18 months.

The proposed investment of around Bt12 billion includes about Bt10 billion that will be sought from the private sector. The remainder will be provided by the IEAT. 

 “I think that the Smart Park project will be part of the gateway for Asean and will help to drive competitiveness of the country as a whole,” said Verapong. 

He said that with the IEAT with the expected participation of about 60 companies, the Smart Park will create investments in the new industrial estate to the tune of around Bt40 billion. 

Additionally, the Smart Park will have a facilitating role in the establishment of the EFC, which has been conceived as hub for the fruit sector in the Eastern region. It is intended to improve the distribution of fruit to both the domestic and international markets. The EFC will also support the sector with upgraded logistics involving the use of so-called smart transport and connecting with the U-Tapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport.

Somchai Harnhirun, the Vice Minister for Industry at the Industry Ministry, said the new Smart Park would serve as a springboard for efforts to boost the country’s competitiveness, particularly with its role in supporting the new sectors encapsulated by the S-Curve industries.

The new park will also help in the development of so-called smart infrastructure - ranging from smart location and smart energy buildings to smart transport - to create new business opportunities and support a sustainable Thailand 4.0 scheme.