I recently visited Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) where an approved $7 billion high-speed rail has caught international headlines. Two consortiums have since submitted bids for the project, which aims to shorten travel times along the corridor and is one of a number of major infrastructure projects planned for the EEC.
My four takeaways
1. Thailand’s industrial parks enjoy greater scale and focus relative to other parks in the ASEAN region. Labour supply is the key constraint.
2. Thailand will be a beneficiary of any prolonged US-China trade dispute. Chinese manufacturers are already looking at options in the EEC.
3. Improved transport infrastructure will help. But the EEC must move towards advanced manufacturing for long-term success.
4. Chinese participation in Thailand is growing. But Japanese firms are already well established. I would expect to see greater collaboration.