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INSIDE THAILAND
Developing the Potential of Chiang Rai to Become a Special Economic Zone

8 July 2016

The Government has listed the northern province of Chiang Rai in its second phase for the development of special economic zones. Guidelines have been set to develop the potential of Chiang Rai in three major areas.
 
In the first area, Chiang Rai will be promoted as a border trade city to accommodate more trade and investment, connecting with the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and other ASEAN countries.
 
The second area involves agricultural development and aims to develop Chiang Rai as a health food market. Efforts will also be made to develop the province into a regional hub for food and agricultural products.
 
In the next step, this regional hub will be upgraded for the upper-end consumers. In the third area, Chiang Rai will be developed as a tourist city, linking with GMS and other ASEAN countries. The province has good potential for eco-tourism, cultural and historical tourism, and health tourism.
 
Located 785 kilometers from Bangkok, Chiang Rai has many unique charms among its fascinating sights. The province is noted for its landscape of mountains and forests, and a wide range of tourist attractions. It shares borders with Myanmar and Lao PDR, and from Chiang Rai, it is easy to travel to southern China.
 
Border trade in Chiang Rai has increased significantly because of extensive progress in development under the framework of GMS, especially the North-South Economic Corridor. The Chiang Rai Special Economic Zone comprises three districts, namely Mae Sai, Chiang Saen, and Chiang Khong.
 
Deputy Education Minister General Surachet Chaiwong visited Chiang Rai recently to discuss integrated education management in preparation for the development of the special economic zone. He said that economic development must connect with human development and the education system.
 
It has been suggested that the curriculum in basic education be adjusted in line with the development of the special economic zone and should respond to the demand for economic development in the area.
 
Regarding vocational education, emphasis will be placed on STEM education, which comprises science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as foreign language skills. Student and teacher exchange programs will be carried out with vocational colleges in other ASEAN countries.
 
As for university education, graduates will be produced in accordance with both local and national demand, and the production will be increased in both quantity and quality. Research study will be given a boost. It has also been suggested that education at universities should focus on innovation, new technology, and entrepreneurship programs.
Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations Department, Office of the Prime Minister
9 Rama VI Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

Fax : (+66) 2618 2358 E-mail : prforeign@prd.go.th
 
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