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Monday, 9 August 2010

Sa Kaew to get special economic zone

Poipet International Chekpoint in Cambodia's Banteay Meanchey province opposite Thailand's Sa Kaew province is a major border trade gateway between the two countries.

By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
The Nation
Published on August 9, 2010

Sa Kaew has been chosen for a new special economic zone (SEZ) to promote trade and investment in eastern Thailand as well as developing the area as an economic corridor to link with China and other countries via Cambodia and Vietnam.

The government has been considering three areas in the province - one of 700 rai, one 1,000 rai, and one 10,000 rai (between 112 and 1,600 hectares) - to be developed as a tax-free SEZ. There will be an industrial estate, a distribution centre and supporting logistics activities.
Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot said the SEZ in Sa Kaew would be a gateway to link Thailand's eastern provinces to Cambodia and countries bordering the South China Sea.
The zone will be proposed for the Cabinet's approval early next month, he said. Moreover, the Commerce Ministry will ask for Cabinet approval to set up a committee on promoting cross-border growth and to ensure systematic management of the SEZ.
The special economic zone will be developed based on the model in Mae Sot, which has been successfully established for promoting trade and investment growth in the Northwest, Alongkorn said, enabling Thailand to penetrate Burma, India, the Middle East, and the European Union more conveniently through the western corridor.
"If the special economic zone in the east can be established, Thailand can more efficiently create closer linkages with neighbouring countries and others in the region," he said.
Thailand is also planning a joint meeting between government officials from seven Thai provinces and five provinces in Cambodia so that they will all have the same understanding on developing economic growth on both sides of the border, Alongkorn said.

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