The number of investment projects applying for Thai government promotion during the first five month of this year has increased 51 percent while the combined investment value gone up 25 percent to 208 billion baht.
According to Dr Atchaka Sibunruang, secretary-general of Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI), a total of 725 projects, with the combined value of 208 billion baht, has during the period from January to May this year applied for various investment privileges provided by the Thai government, significantly increasing from 480 projects with the value of 166 billion baht during the same period last year.
During last Monday meeting of the 12-member BOI, chaired by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Dr Atchaka, on behalf of the secretary of the Board, reported that the agency expects the investment value of all applications throughout the year to reach the target of 400 billion baht due to the current recovery of both global and domestic economies.
Among the projects seeking Thai government privileges during the first five months, she said, the biggest group of 184 applications with the value of 63 billion baht is in metal, machinery and transportation equipment industries, followed by 154 applications worth 42 billion baht in service industry and public utilities sector, 99 applications worth 37 billion baht in chemical, paper and plastic industries, and 108 projects worth 28 billion baht in electronic and electric appliance industries.
One of the important factors resulting in such continuing investment growth since early last year, she said, has been the policies to promote certain investment in targeted industries, such as by promoting the replacement of the machinery for energy saving and environmental impact reduction in which the investors have so far invested more than 2.4 billion baht.
Moreover, the policy to add new investment categories and to adjust promotional criteria for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) has during the first five months of this year attracted a total of 92 SME projects, up about 1.78 times from those of the same period last year, with the investment value of 3.7 billion baht, increasing 5.25 times from the same period last year, she added.
Regarding the foreign direct investment (FDI) during the past five months, the BOI secretary said, a total of 431 projects worth nearly 141.2 billion baht have been submitted by foreign investors for consideration of the agency to grant promotional privileges, with Japanese investors remaining at the top in term of both schemes and capital.
During the first five months of this year, there were 221 projects of Japanese investors, equal to about 51 percent of all foreign investment projects, with the combined investment value of almost 57.5 billion baht, up about 77 percent from the same period last year and equal to 41 percent of the overall foreign investment value during the first five months of this year. The Japanese projects were mainly in the industries of automobile parts and electronic parts.
The investors from China ranked second in term of investment value at 20.5 billion baht, equal to about 15 percent of the overall foreign investment value, with the biggest project of tire production worth about 19 billion baht.