In the eastern gulf coast of the kingdom of Thailand, there is a seaside province known to the locals as Rayong. This is one of the hottest spots in the country because of its relaxing holiday beaches, the clear blue waters and the endless supply of fresh tropical fruits supplied by fruit orchards in the area. The town is one of the best options for a weekend getaway that hotel suites in Rayong are increasing in number in the last few years. This is 180 kilometres from the busy capital, Bangkok, or can be driven by car within two and a half hours.
As much as the town wants to remain undisturbed and separate from the urban lifestyle known mostly in Bangkok, it might be hard to avoid because new developments are coming its way which could change the local’s way of life. There are already plans of turning not just the town but the whole region into a commercial hub for Thailand.
Looking at the economic agenda of the government of Thailand, Rayong along with two of its closest neighbors – Chachoengsao and Chonburi, are going to make up the Eastern Economic Corridor or EEC. The total land area of these three is 13,000 square kilometres and it is planned that EEC will become the centre for regional transportation, investment and trade. It is also expected to become a strategic gateway for the entire region. These projects are part of Thailand 4.0 with a goal of transforming the economy of the country to become the engine of growth in Southeast Asia as well as to drive the country to become a high-income country when 2036 rolls in.
According to experts, EEC will be able to bring in around $46 billion worth of investments which will help increased the gross domestic product or GDP of Thailand by an additional five per cent yearly by 2020. Investments are expected to come from targeted industries like smart electronics, agriculture, aviation, biotechnology and logistics among many others. Developers will also come pouring in to build more hotel suites in Rayong in order to accommodate the increase in tourists.