THE BOARD of Investment (BOI) aims to attract applications for ivestmemts of as much as Bt720 billion this year, up from the Bt600 billion targeted for last year, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said yesterday after providing policy guidance to the agency.
Somkid’s policy initiatives focus on three key areas: the supply of competent human resources to serve targeted industries, and the hosting of major seminars to woo investors - including the Thailand Taking Off event on March 19 – and update them on Thailand’s economy and BOI policies.
For the third push, the BOI will organise roadshows to attract investments in targeted overseas areas. Next month the agency’s representatives will meet investors in Fukuoka, a major base for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Japan. BOI secretary-general Duangjai Asawachintachit said that the Thailand Taking Off event was expected to draw at least 2,500 visitors.
Somkid said he wanted the agency to focus more on supporting the businesses in two broad groups - the agricultural sector and the tourism-related business sector. Both are key vehicles for the distribution of income to local communities.
The Minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, Kobsak Pootrakool, said the country was experiencing a favourable investment climate, citing the investment to go into infrastructure mega-projects, such as those planned for the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
The government has also untangled the regulatory framework, revising a number of laws, to clear the path for the expected investment inflows, he said.
Last year, the BOI received investment applications for 1,456 projects worth Bt641.978 billion, surpassing the Bt600 billion target. Some 44 per cent of the applications were from foreign investors. The Japanese topped the list, with applications worth for business with Bt133 billion, followed by Singaporeans at Bt40.366 billion. Investors from China followed at Bt27.514 billion, the US with Bt20.022 billion and Netherlands, Bt15.842 billion.
Of the total, 388 applications are for investments in the EEC worth Bt296.889 billion; Rayong took the biggest share by investment value, followed by Chon Buri and Chacheongsao. Applications to invest in the country’s 10 targeted industries came to Bt392.141 billion, of which Bt241.055 billion is on so-called First S-Curve industries and the rest on what the agency calls New S-Curve industries.
Those in the First S-Curve industrial grouping are next-generation automotive, smart electronics, affluent, medical and wellness tourism, agriculture and biotechnolgy, and food for the future. Those industries in the New S-Curve grouping are robotics, aviation and logistics, biofuels and biochemicals, digital, and medical hub.