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24 Feb, 2016

Southern Thai Province of Narathiwat Ready to Become a Special Economic Zone

Narathiwat, Thailand, 24 February 2016, (Thailand PRD News)-The southern border province of Narathiwat has officially opened a One Stop Service Center in a move toward becoming a special economic zone, in line with the Government’s policy.

Director of the Narathiwat Provincial Industry Office Pokpak Boonchoo said that Narathiwat is on the list of the second phase of the Government’s plan to establish special economic zones in 2016.

The Government encourages the establishment of a One Stop Service Center in every special economic zone to assist investors and offer them advice and information on various issues, such as trade, investment, labor-related matters, public health, and security. With this center, investors may contact many government agencies at one location.

Mr. Pokpak said that all relevant private organizations in Narathiwat, such as the provincial chapter of the Federation of Thai Industries, the Muslim Business Association, and the Muslim Trading Association, have been joining hands with government agencies in pushing for the establishment of a special economic zone in this province.

The special economic zone will cover five districts, namely Yi-ngo, Mueang Narathiwat, Su-ngai Kolok, Tak Bai, and Waeng. As for the One Stop Service Center, it is open at the Narathiwat Provincial Industry Office during official hours every Monday to Friday.

Mr. Pokpak indicated that Narathiwat has good potential for being developed as a gateway to border trade connecting with other countries in the southern ASEAN region. The province can link with Malaysia and Singapore through three border checkpoints, namely Su-ngai Kolok, Tak Bai, and Buketa. It is also accessible by land, water, and air transport.

He explained that investors in the Narathiwat Special Economic Zone will be provided with privileges and other incentives, such as tax reduction and soft loans. Investors may seek more information at the One Stop Service Center, located in Mueang Narathiwat district, or at the hotline 1880, operated by the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center around the clock.

Narathiwat is well-known for its border town of Su-ngai Kolok, which welcomes a great number of Malaysian and Singaporean visitors coming for trade and tourism each year.

The establishment of a special economic zone in Narathiwat is expected to help stimulate the local economy, which has been affected by unrest in the deep South. It will also provide more job opportunities and generate more income, so that local residents do not have to leave their hometown for employment overseas.

The province has carried out several projects on the development of transportation networks in preparation for the establishment of the special economic zone in 2016.