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Chiang Rai proposed as logistic hub for Mekong region

Thailand’s northernmost province of Chiang Rai is perfectly positioned to serve as the logistics hub for the Greater Mekong Sub-region, according to the Ministry of Industry, which last week said it would take steps to develop it into a Special Economic Zone.  
 
Chiang Rai borders both Myanmar and Laos and is only 250 miles south of China’s Yunnan province. It also has ports on the Mekong River that marks the border between Thailand and Laos.
 
Ministry of Industry (MOI) and Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) executives, including Minister of Industry Chakramon Phasukavanich and IEAT Governor Verapong Chaiperm with other high-ranking officials, recently completed field observations that are required before a special economic zone (SEZ) can be established in Chiang Rai province.  The purpose is to support the integration of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of the year.
 
”Chiang Rai is in a perfect location, which is suitable to be promoted as a logistics center of the GMS because it is the gateway to growing economic zones in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and also the southern Chinese province of Yunnan,” Chakramon said, and confirmed with the ad-hoc committee on the area that is designated for the establishment of the SEZ.
 
IEAT is increasing the investment value to the Chiang Khong industrial estate in Chiang Rai and aims to improve infrastructure that will connect ASEAN to southern China, IEAT Governor Verapong Chaiperm said.
 
Chiang Rai SEZ development includes four strategies with the first being promoting industrial development and sustainable manufacturing integration.  That is to be followed by strengthening the efficiency and competitiveness of the industrial manufacturing, followed by promoting eco-friendly industries, and finally promoting broader investments to support the border areas and the AEC.
 
Chiang Rai is expected to play a greater role as trade and investment value increase in the border areas.  SEZs are also being developed in Sa Kaew and Trat provinces bordering Cambodia in the southeast and Tak province bordering Myanmar in the west.  They are on track to be ready this year.  The government's SEZ plan over the next two years includes promoting other provinces with strong potential as business zones including Nakhon Phanom and Nong Khai, both in the northeast bordering Laos.
 
Thailand's border trade totaled nearly US$60 billion in 2014, the Ministry of Commerce said.
 
See the original article at Thailand e-Focus

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