(Yicai Global) Feb. 12 -- Thailand has passed a new law to ease restrictions on investments, as part of plans to develop the Eastern Economic Corridor, comprising three provinces in the east of the country, which will be connected to with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
The development of the EEC aims to create a maritime traffic hub for Southeast Asia, connecting Dawei deep-water port in Myanmar, Sihanoukville port in Cambodia, and Vung Tau port in Vietnam, the Thai government said, adding that it hopes for integration with China’s railway and port infrastructure through the Belt and Road Initiative.
The EEC area will receive USD44 billion in investment from 2017 to 2021, with 80 percent of the funds coming from the private sector and the rest coming from the state.
Participating investors will be eligible for tax credits and may also purchase land with 99-year deeds, the new law states. Thailand has also eased visa regulations for foreign professionals and simplified procedures for foreign enterprises to take part in capital inflows.
Often compared with the ancient Silk Road, the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. It is a grand 30- to 40-year plan for a vast infrastructure and trade route boasting a major network of railroads, highways, ports and pipelines embracing the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa. Thailand, with its geographical position, sits at a key strategic point and acts as a gateway into ASEAN markets.