Thailand’s Community-Based Eco-Industrial Town Development

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June 2017
Eunice Jieun Kim

Thailand has been a pioneer in promoting special economic zones, and has achieved noteworthy success as a result of its unique approach of promoting inclusive but voluntary industry participation and by actively engaging local communities. Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate (IE) is the most symbolic icon of Thailand’s industrial development. Formulated in 1990 as part of the Eastern Seaboard Development program, a government led industrial development program in Rayong province, Map Ta Phut IE has turned a small fishing town into one of the world’s largest petrochemical production centers. Although that program was unsuccessful, it provided the model for a new Thai MoIn initiative launched in 2010 which focused more comprehensively on developing sustainable industrial communities, under a program titled as Eco Industrial Town development (EIT).

EIT was implemented with a special focus on being more inclusive and engaging a large range of stakeholders on the ground. The design of the EIT program also facilitated its adoption by key stakeholders. Therefore, this report Thailand’s Community-Based Eco-Industrial Town Development found some potential lessons learned from Thailand’s EIT program and opportunities for improvement.