Thailand 4.0 is in full swing with a policy push that encourages new business environments, innovation, as well as the promotion of hard and soft infrastructure. Key in the new economic policy is improved connectivity, construction of mega infrastructures, in addition to incentives to enhance new investments in the Eastern Economic Corridor. Thailand is also set to benefit from China’s highly ambitious Belt and Road infrastructure initiative which is aiming to boost trade routes linking China to a multitude of Eurasian countries.
The eastern seaboard is set to receive more than US$43 billion of new foreign investment over the next five years as it transforms from a manufacturing base to smarter sectors such as electronics, robotics, biomedical and medical and wellness tourism. Aiding that is a series of new rail and motorways connecting Rayong, Chonburi and Chachoengsao that link the region with Bangkok.
Thailand is looking to connect all these new initiatives and investment around a new ‘bleisure’ hub of Pattaya, Hua Hin and Bangkok. Connecting that ‘bleisure’ triangle are major infrastructure projects including an upgrade of U-Tapao Airport and Laem Chabang Seaport, high-speed eastern rail route development and highways and motorways expansion, in addition to a two hour ferry service linking Pattaya and Hua Hin.
“Thailand 4.0 inspires and encourages business activities and this, in turn, makes the country a venue for meetings linked to trade development, technology and research,” says Supawan Teerarat, vice president of Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau’s (TCEB) Strategic and Business Development. “The uplift of the country’s economy will directly benefit the MICE industry.”