In a sign of increased foreign investor interest in making Thailand their manufacturing base, the value of investment projects seeking Board of Investment (BOI) privileges in the first half of this year rose 70% to 364.42 billion baht.
Narit Therdsteerasukdi, secretary-general of the BOI Office, said 891 applications were submitted from January to June this year, seeking tax and other investment privileges for investments worth 364.42 billion.
He said the number of projects rose by 18% from the same period last year while the value of the projects increased by 70%.
Of the 891 projects, 464 targeted industries had a combined value of 286.93 billion, or 79% of the value of all projects seeking BOI privileges, Narit added.
Most of the targeted projects were investments in electric appliances and electronic industries, agro-industry, food processing, and automobile and parts industries.
Narit added that 106 projects related to electric appliances and electronic investments, valued at 160 billion baht, had sought BOI support in the first half of this year, a seven-fold increase from the same period last year.
“The trend of investments in electric appliances and electronic industries is likely to continue to expand because foreign manufacturers are moving their bases here to avoid impact from confrontations between superpowers and to reduce costs, which are high in Western countries,” Narit said.
He said foreign investors also have confidence in Thailand’s potential, so they are choosing to expand their manufacturing bases in Thailand, especially in projects to make printed circuit boards, semiconductors, capacitors, solar panels, and smart electronic devices.
Narit said a total of 139 projects in agro-industry and food processing, which are key industries in Thailand, with investment worth 51.27 billion baht had sought BOI privileges in the first half of this year.
They included projects of world leading food manufacturers, such as Lotus Biscoff and Pringles.
Narit noted that there have been regular investments in vehicle and auto parts manufacturing in the first six months of this year, with 80 projects worth 19.6 billion baht seeking support from the BOI.
They included projects to make tyres, wheel shafts, power transmission parts for hybrid-energy vehicles, and EV charging stations.
Narit added that the BOI has so far approved investment privileges for 14 projects to build battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in Thailand with investment value of 33.97 billion baht and capacity to produce 276,640 BEVs each year.
The manufacturers, who have received BOI privileges, include BYD, Great Wall Motor, SAIC (MG), Mercedes Benz and Horizon Plus.
Narit added that 195 project applications related to electricity generation with investment worth 26.207 billion baht had been submitted for BOI privileges this year.
Most projects are located in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), Narit added. A total of 306 projects worth 171.47 billion had applied for BOI support in the EEC this year, accounting for 47% of applications.
Narit said that foreign direct investment during the first half of this year were worth 304 billion baht in 507 projects, an increase of 141% year on year. Most of the investment came from China with 132 projects worth 61.5 billion.
Narit highlighted that Thailand’s ranking in the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking had risen from 33 last year to 30 this year.
Apart from approving investment privileges, the BOI has also approved long-term resident visa for more than 4,200 foreigners by the end of June this year and most of them came from Europe, the United States and China, Narit said.
Source : The Nation