The government of Thailand has set out plans to establish ‘special economic zones’ aimed at facilitating the industrial development of the defense sector of the country. The plans want to stimulate private-sector investment while introducing offset-like obligations on foreign military contractors.
Further details are yet to be defined, but it is expected that the Defense Technology Institute (DTI) – an agency under the Ministry of Defense – will be involved in the plan, probably in relation with the government’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) development project.
In the meantime, Thailand has committed to developing the existing U-Tapao international airport, a joint military-civilian facility. This site is the center of planned investment in aerospace maintenance, repair, and overhaul capability in military and commercial domains. Foreign companies, including Airbus, Safran, Sikorsky, and Saab, have already expressed interest in engaging with the project.
(Sources: Bangkok Post; Jane’s 360)