March 21, 2014 00:00 By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
Fewer foreign investors have won approval to do business in Thailand this month under the Foreign Business Act than a year ago, as the country's political woes caused hesitation among overseas interests.
The Business Development Department yesterday reported that 26 foreign companies had been approved for setting up business in the Kingdom this month, bringing in about Bt2.22 billion of initial capital.
Srirat Rastapana, permanent secretary of the Commerce Ministry, said the approvals should create at least 354 new jobs for Thais. The lower number of approvals may have been a result of a lower number of requests amid concerns over political instability.
Compared with March last year, the number of foreign companies that were approved dropped by 26 per cent, but initial investment capital increased 34 per cent. However, compared with March’s figure, February, the number of foreign companies that were approved for this month was up by 18 per cent, and initial capital rose 21 per cent.
For the first quarter of this year, a total of 86 foreign firms have been approved under the FBA, bringing in Bt4.8 billion initial investment capital. The number of approved companies dropped by 13 per cent compared with the first quarter of 2013, but initial capital was up by 32 per cent year on year.
Most of the firms approved this month are related to financial services, consultancy and management for subsidiary companies, and firms contracted with state-owned enterprises.