Leading Chinese technology companies Alibaba and Huawei have both talked about making investments in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project. Alibaba is close to reaching an agreement and the company’s Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma is travelling to Thailand to meet with government executives.
They will discuss the e-commerce giant’s future investment in the country’s EEC scheme with specific details set to be finalised in the coming days. The government-backed EEC scheme was created to help drive economic growth through next-generation industry along Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard. The creation of the EEC is part of the Thailand 4.0 policy.
“Alibaba can confirm it [Alibaba] will invest in Chachoengsao, 1 of the 3 EEC provinces, but the company itself will announce further details later,” says Thailand Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana to local media.
The e-commerce, retail, Internet, AI, and technology conglomerate plans to set up a logistics centre in Chachoengsao. This will serve as a base for its e-commerce operations in Thailand as well as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. The Thai government hopes that with Alibaba signed up to participate, more foreign companies will look at investment opportunities in the EEC.
Huawei Technologies Co. could soon join Alibaba in the EEC. The telecommunications company is already making plans with the Thai government regarding expansion plans. The phone maker wants to invest in the EEC after it made an initial move to Thailand in 2017.
“Huawei wants to open a second digital lab centre in the EEC after the 1st one opened in Bangkok [last year],” says Uttama.
Huawei is also considering an investment in the Thai government’s smart city scheme. These plans aim to drive the country’s technology and innovation output, but are still some ways away from realisation. The company is still conducting a feasibility study on the project.
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