IEAT keen on estate for Korean investors

Veeris Ammarapala

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) is set to hold talks with Thai companies and South Korean enterprises to sound out the possibility of setting up a new high-tech industrial estate to specifically cater to the needs of South Korean investors.

South Korea wishes to have a new industrial estate or a new area to serve investors from South Korea who want to invest in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), said IEAT governor Veeris Ammarapala.

“South Korea wants the South Korean industrial estate to resemble the Thai-Chinese Rayong Industrial Zone, which is a modern industrial zone developed by Holley Group [China] and Amata Group [Thailand],” he said.

The organisation will discuss the matter with the Thai Industrial Estate and Strategic Partner Association.

It aims to develop and upgrade industrial estates in Thailand to become high-tech industrial estates under the Smart Park concept.

The move is in line with the government’s push to promote S-curve industries to support the country as a hub for trade and innovation, which would help drive the country’s economic recovery, said Mr Veeris.

South Korea is interested in expanding its business and investment in Thailand as the Thai government has an investment policy and Thailand is a strong location for the high-tech industry, he said.

Taiwan also wants to have a high-tech industrial estate to cater for its investors, he noted.

“Many investors want to relocate their investment from Taiwan to other countries, including Thailand and Vietnam, as they are concerned about political conflicts with China. Thailand has potential in this regard and is suitable for them,” said Mr Veeris.

However, foreign investors want Thailand to provide more incentives and privileges for their investment, he said.

IEAT aims to support the government’s efforts to increase foreign direct investment to boost economic growth, he said, adding that IEAT is confident the EEC can serve as an important and attractive zone for such an investment from global and Thai enterprises.

“The EEC is a strong location for investment, supported by megaprojects, such as the Laem Chabang deep-sea port and a high-speed train project linking three airports,” Mr Veeris said.

IEAT has 180,082 rai in operation across the country, including 37,724 rai wholly operated by IEAT as well as 142,385 rai jointly invested by IEAT.

IEAT handles 66 industrial estates in 16 provinces across the country. Of these, 14 are operated by IEAT itself, while 46 are operated via joint ventures.