Eastern Seaboard of Thailand

Eastern Seaboard of Thailand

The Eastern Seaboard of Thailand is an emerging economic region, and despite its low profile, plays a key role in Thailand's economy, especially since the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. It's importance lies in the fact that it is Thailand's center for export oriented industries, which has helped Thailand climb out of the financial crisis and has underpinned the Thai baht. High value goods, such as Japanese branded automobiles, which are manufactured there and shipped to other ports, are among the many exports. The region comprises Chon Buri Province, Chachoengsao Province, Samut Prakan Province and Rayong Province.


The rising economic importance of the region is evident through the central government's commitment to the region's infrastructure development. Planners see the region as strategically important as it borders the ocean as well as being close to Bangkok, and its airport.

Laem Chabang port, Thailand's largest and 20th busiest port in the world as of 2008, is the region's port. Bangkok, Bangkok's airport and the port are all linked by the Bang Na-Trat tollway.

Two large infrastructure projects worth a total of 36 billion baht, both railways, have been approved on October 23, 2007, to be built to railway links up from Korat and Lat Krabang with Laem Chabang port. [ [http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/23Oct2007_news01.php] ]

In addition the Chon Buri Motorway, Thailand's first motorway, also links the region with Suvarnabhumi airport and Bangkok. In November 2007, Thailand's completed its second motorway, Bangkok's Outer Ring Road.

The region is home to many huge industrial estates. Other than its manufacturing and shipping industries, it also has a diverse service sector comprising of the tourism, construction, and retail industries.
Pattaya, the major tourist city, is also located here, and is only second to Bangkok in Thailand for number of high rises. The region is also being promoted as a retirement area for foreigners.

However, development hasn't come without consequences. Serious problems resulting from pollution have plagued the Map Ta Phut industrial estate in Rayong, an industrial zone for petrochemical and heavy industries that has suffered from heavy metal and organophosphates poisoning. Factory workers in the region are among the highest paid in Thailand, often more than doctors in the region, but occasionally suffer physiological ailments. The region is looking forward to independence from Bangkok as a major regional center in its own right. Rail service from Bangkok terminates at Pattaya, but more importantly, bus services may bypass Bangkok to the north east and air service through U-Tapao International Airport is one of few that has direct service to Samui and Phuket by Bangkok Airways.


External links

* [http://www.jica.go.jp/english/evaluation/reports/pdf/2001_0420.pdf Eastern Seaboard Development Program]
* [http://www.jbic.go.jp/english/oec/post/2000/pdf/01-01.pdf Eastern Seaboard Development Plan Social Impact Evaluation]
* [http://www.st-andrews.ac.th/rayong/index.html St Andrew's International School Rayong]
* [http://www.internationaleducationmedia.com/thailand/ise.htm The International School Eastern Seaboard]
* [http://www.blacksmithinstitute.org/search3.php?project_id=83 Blacksmith Institute Map Ta Phut]

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