The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project in Thailand is falling short of its intended purpose, as only a few small local businesses are able to access and benefit from it, according to the Thai Sang Thai (TST) Party. Prime ministerial candidate for the TST, Supan Mongkolsutee, stated that the EEC scheme is predominantly aimed at larger companies, leaving small businesses struggling to meet the EEC’s criteria for entry.
The EEC area, covering portions of Chon Buri, Rayong, and Chachoengsao, is home to 12 targeted S-curve industries such as new-generation car production and smart electronics. The government is hoping to transform the region into a high-tech industrial hub. According to Mongkolsutee, government support to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with investment privileges is crucial for a stronger economy and for promoting Thai industries.
Mongkolsutee also highlighted the value of extending the EEC’s designated area for industries like food, jewellery, and cosmetics, where Thailand is highly competitive. The focus on GDP among contesting political parties lacks consideration for SMEs, which currently make up 35% of Thailand’s GDP and should be increased to at least 50%, Mongkolsutee argued.
Meanwhile, a rift has emerged within the United Thai Nation (UTN) Party, as a group of candidates has voiced concerns over insufficient party support. Speaking on behalf of the candidates, Preecha Rengsomboonsap, who is contesting Loei’s Constituency 1, expressed frustration with the party’s alleged lack of financial support.
In response, Himalai Phewpan, the UTN coordinator, maintained that the party has limited funds for the election and that donations must be utilised carefully. He also emphasised that candidates should be capable of managing their own financial affairs to avoid placing an additional burden on others.
The Bhumjaithai Party leader, Anutin Charnvirakul, urged Pheu Thai not to make speculative comments about post-election outcomes. Charnvirakul was reacting to remarks made by Pheu Thai prime ministerial candidate Srettha Thavisin, who claimed that Pheu Thai would be responsible for the Transport Ministry if it were to form the next coalition government. Furthermore, the Bhumjaithai Party is seeking a Criminal Court injunction to restrain former massage parlour tycoon Chuvit Kamolvisit from criticising the party’s campaign policy, reports Bangkok Post.
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