ABSTRACT

Firstly, this chapter examines the background of Thailand 4.0’s flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) plan as a game-changing engine of growth. It examines obstacles to its implementation, including how to raise investment funds of up to 1.7 trillion baht, who will be responsible for 15 major investment projects in 12 target industries, and future challenges.The second part discusses China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), formerly known as One Belt One Road (OBOR), in relation to the next wave of EEC investment. By implicating the EEC project in BRI planning and ensuring financing from Chinese banks, Thailand is relying on Chinese high-tech investment, in addition to assets from Japan.Lastly, following Japan’s flying geese paradigm, in which developing Asian nations align themselves behind Japan as industrial nations in a flight pattern resembling wild geese, Thailand’s future is inextricably linked to Japanese trade and investment strategy. For a half-century, Japan has been the top importer to Thailand and second largest export destination. Japanese official development aid (ODA) to Thailand accounts for 70–80 percent of total assistance from developed nations. It is essential to understand how Japanese investors view Thailand and the EEC Plan.