30 foreign companies approved this month
Operations worth Bt239m, up 25percent from Jan 2012
Thirty companies were approved this month under the Foreign Business Act to set up operations worth at least Bt239 million.
"More investment will flow into Asia, particularly Asean countries including Thailand, after [the United States' fourth round of quantitative easing] has strengthened Asian currencies. Thailand will be eyed as one investment destination with a safe future," Ittipol Changlum, deputy director-general of the Business Development Department, said yesterday.
The department reported that FBA approvals were up by 3 per cent year on year and initial investment up by 25 per cent compared with January 2012. The new operations are expected to create up to 234 jobs for Thais.
Since 1999, a total of 3,247 foreign enterprises have been approved for operation in the Kingdom under the FBA. They brought in about Bt164.31 billion initial investment.
This month, the most popular businesses invested in by foreign enterprises are in financial services, consultancy, and management for subsidiary companies.
Major foreign investors are from Singapore, France, Japan, Mauritius, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commerce Minister Natthawut Saikua said the shutdown of operations at two ceramic plants in Lampang province was not a result of the new Bt300-per-day minimum wage. According to a report by the Business Development Department, CK Ceramics' plant there had been closed since 2002.
Natthawut said the department would closely monitor the impacts of the improved minimum wage, but for now there was no evidence that it had caused any companies to collapse.
Currently, there are 385 ceramics enterprises with combined initial investment capital worth Bt10.7 billion registered in the Kingdom. Of those, 64 are in Lampang.
Ceramics industries employ about 6,705 people.