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PHUKET: This fiscal year, the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) has forecasted sales and rentals to cover between 3,600 to 3,800 rai (1,440 to 1,520 acres) of land in both its own and privately owned industrial estates.

The 2013 Thai fiscal year began on October 1, 2012 and will last until the end of September, this year.

IEAT governor Veerapong Chaiperm said last week that sales and rentals of all industrial estates in the first three quarters rose 13.3% on year to 3,267 rai (1,306 acres), of which 27 rai (10.8 acres) were in the IEAT’s properties, down 25%, and over 3,000 rai (1,200 acres) in privately operated properties, up 13.8 %.

The surge in sales and rentals indicated rising demand for investment, he added.

The leaders in sales and rentals were Asia Industrial Estate with 944 rai (377 acres), Amata City with 757 rai (302 acres) and Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate with 667 rai (266 acres).

Most of IEAT’s sales and rentals came from its industrial park in Songkhla in the South. The IEAT and private operators altogether manage 48 industrial zones with 88,308 rai (35,323 acres) for sale and rent, of which 74,577 (29,830 acres) have been sold and rented.

Two industrial estates were set up this year – Hemraj Chonburi’s second project with 637 rai (254 acres) to serve the auto parts industry and Kabin Hi-Tech Industrial Estate on 1,066 rai (426 acres) in Prachin Buri.

The IEAT has a policy of pporting the creation of more industrial zones ahead of the full realization of the ASEAN Economic Community.

Developers have already submitted plans for 28 projects on 14,163 rai (5,665 acres) with estimated costs of 21.25 billion baht. The projects are expected to lure investment of 891.75bn baht and employ 529,200 workers.

Of the 28 new projects, 18 on 1,924 rai (769 acres) are SME estates with a development cost of 2.89bn baht.

The zones are expected to draw business investment of 576bn baht and create 340,200 jobs.

Six projects are in the Northeast with 9,799 rai (3,916 acres) and development cost of 14.70bn baht.

They are expected to draw business investment of 303.75bn baht and create 113,400 jobs.

The last four new projects are logistics parks in Chiang Rai totalling 2,440 rai (976 acres).

This article appears in the current issue (June 29-July 5) of the hard-copy Phuket Gazette newspaper, now on sale at newsstands throughout the island. Digital subscribers may download the full issue, this week and every week, by clicking here.

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— The Nation