THE BOARD OF INVESTMENT yesterday blessed two logistics projects worth nearly Bt12 billion to push Thailand towards hosting hubs for logistics and aviation.
After the BOI meeting chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, BOI director-general Hiranya Sujinai said Hutchison Laemchabang Terminal’s Bt7.21-billion project and Thai Lion Mentari’s Bt4.77-billion project gained approval for privileges.
Hutchison Laemchabang Terminal will expand its goods handling for container vessels, which could improve Laem Chabang Port’s capabilities and develop Thailand into a centre for trade and marine logistics in Asia.
The Thai Lion Mentari project involves expansion of air transportation by investing in the services of a low-cost airline to promote Thailand as a centre of aviation in Asean.
The BOI won approval to continue promoting special economic zones (SEZs) for another year after 2018 to attract more investment, PM’s Office Minister Suvit Maesincee said.
Two categories expanded
Businesses in six categories facing expiration of investment incentives were allowed to apply for them until next year, he said, citing local investors’ interest.
Two business categories were expanded.
The one for production of construction materials was broadened to cover all types of such materials, while the one for toiletry preparation was allowed to include cosmetics.
For the first four months of this year, 41 projects worth Bt8.58 billion applied for the BOI’s support in the SEZs of 10 provinces – Chiang Rai, Tak, Mukdahan, Sa Kaew, Trat, Songkhla, Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom, Kanchanaburi and Narathiwat.
The BOI meeting agreed to open a new business category – digital infrastructure – to encourage investment in communications networks via submarine cables, which could upgrade the country’s Internet services.
Other groups of businesses with advanced production technologies, research and development or product design – auto parts and high-tech electrical appliances – were allowed more tax breaks.