Nov 12, 2019
Megaprojects and major capital projects are heating up in Asia. In Thailand, the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and infrastructure expansion are creating huge possibilities for the construction trade there, according to industry experts in the region. In a move reminiscent of the Eastern Seabord project launched nearly 4 decades earlier, Thailand hopes to enter a new period of economic growth and expansion. Over the last 40 years, for example, GDP in Thailand grew by more than 10%. The EEC project will be a major player in the Asian megaproject field.
The goal of the EEC is to create opportunities in Thailand and to boost GDP out of the "middle-income trap." Expectations are that GDP will be boosted by more than 5% annually with an anticipated 10% upward shift in investment growth. Another positive outcome for the construction of major capital projects in Thailand will be the EEC's creation of more than 100,000 jobs and the increase in income that comes with the boost in employment. There is a high-speed train project linking three surrounding airports which will spark this much-needed growth. This airport expansion alone will increase the number of passengers arriving at the Don Mueang airport, for example, from 30 million to 40 million. At Suvarnabhumi Airport, the number of passengers is projected to increase even more, from 60 million to over 90 million people.
At these airports, new terminals will be built and existing terminals, roadways and runways will be expanded. As mass transit lines are planned and constructed near Bangkok, new opportunities will flow to the property construction in the form of new condos along the planned Skytrain routes. As new transit lines are built, low and middle-income people will be able to get in on the ground floor, so to speak. As access into urban centers is expanded, these megaprojects are hoping to create more opportunities in these provinces for everyone from tourists to farmers in more rural areas. While growth in Bangkok is considered unstoppable by many industry experts, the officials in charge of the megaprojects are looking to grow the economy smartly with clear direction. The Eastern Economic Corrido has set seven directives for each province to develop a smart city: smart environment, smart government, smart mobility, smart energy, smart economy, smart living, and smart people.
The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and infrastructure development are setting new megatrends in Thailand with huge opportunities lying ahead for the property sector, according to former policymakers and property experts.
Heavyweight politician Suwat Liptapanlop said the EEC will be a key player driving economic growth over the next several years, similar to the Eastern Seaboard project launched 37 years ago by the late Privy Council president and statesman, Gen Prem Tinsulanonda.
"The economy continued expanding for many years after that," said Mr Suwat, a former deputy prime minister. "During the late Chatichai Choonhavan's administration, GDP grew by more than 10% for three consecutive years."
He said the EEC will open a lot of new opportunities, help Thailand escape the middle-income trap and boost investment growth by over 10% and GDP by more than 5% a year.