The Eastern Seaboard Development Programme (ESDP) was initiated as part of the 5th Economic and Social Development Plan of Thailand (1982-86). It aimed at developing the region of the Eastern Seaboard in order to promote industrial growth and to decentralize economic and population growth.
In order to strengthen the Office of the Eastern Seaboard (OESB) with the aim of enabling it to finally direct and coordinate the planning and implementation of the Eastern Seaboard Development Programme without external support, four German experts were seconded to advise and counsel OESB within the framework of Thai-German technical cooperation. These experts were active in the fields of infrastructure assessment and planning, port development and construction, industrial planning and urban and regional planning.
However, the cooperation with experts from other countries and the Thai counterpart was characterized by difficulties because of the different views and approaches of the different international advisor teams (Germany, France, Japan UNDP) and a lack of integration of the foreign experts into the OESB. Therefore and due to the project’s very short duration (it was not extended after the first phase ended) it is almost impossible to assess to what extent the original objective of strengthening the OESB has been achieved.