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Thailand says it will invest US$71m in economic zones this year

[BANGKOK] The Thai government will invest 2.4 billion baht (S$95.5 million) this year in six special economic zones it hopes will boost cross-border trade, the deputy transport minister said on Thursday.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said his government wanted to develop zones in six provinces to boost trade, which has been weak.

In January, the government said the first zone would be in northern Tak province, about 420 km (260 miles) north of Bangkok.

Thai consumer product conglomerate Saha Group earlier this month said it had delayed its investment in Myanmar and would instead focus on the zone in Tak province.

Deputy Transport Minister Arkhom Termpitayapaisit, who is also secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), said the budget would be used for 35 projects in six zones.

The Board of Investment (BOI) in December announced special tax exemptions of up to eight for investors in the zones.