Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit plans to ask the cabinet to approve a 12-billion-baht Smart Park industrial estate as well new measures to stimulate car sales after the pandemic dies down.
The new complex, to be located on 1,383 rai in Map Tha Phut in Rayong, will be among key projects in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme to serve 12 targeted S-curve industries, including next-generation cars, robotics, medical technology as well as aviation and aerospace.
"We will not delay the project and expect to complete it within three years," Mr Suriya said during a trip to Rayong on Monday where the cabinet meeting is scheduled for today.
Construction is set to start in the second quarter next year as the government pushes ahead with its ambitious EEC scheme to build a high-tech industrial hub spanning 30,000 rai in three provinces: Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao.
Somchint Pilouk, governor of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT), which oversees the Smart Park project, said authorities plan to allocate 621 rai of land for factories, 150 rai for commercial areas, 373 rai for infrastructure and facilities, and 238 rai for green areas and buffer zones.
IEAT believes new jobs for 7,459 workers will be created during this period and the project will contribute 1.34 trillion baht annually to the country's GDP.
The Industry Ministry supports the Smart Park project after receiving approval from the National Economic and Social Development Council.
The cabinet will also be asked to approve plans to help the automotive industry deal with the impact from the outbreak, which sharply reduced domestic demand for cars. Factories temporarily shuttered during the lockdown and consumer purchasing power has weakened.
"The ministry expects the cabinet to approve tax measures to improve purchasing power, helping prospective buyers acquire new cars," Mr Suriya said.
He said Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corporation's 330-billion-baht investment in an ethylene cracker and refinery expansion project in Sri Racha, Chon Buri will be delayed because of the pandemic.
"Exxon Mobil has been affected by the pandemic, which caused low consumption of fuel and petrochemicals in the global market," said Mr Suriya.
The firm finished its feasibility study on the project this February. The project requires 3,000 rai of coastal area near Laem Chabang seaport in Chon Buri.