Thailand’s Board of Investment reports a 5-month investment value of more than Bt200 billion ($6.6 billon), thanks to Investment from Japan and China boosting foreign investment growth to 64%. Total investment in the first five months of this year has already surpassed Bt200 billion, with 725 new project applications with total investment value of Bt208 billion. This amount accounts for more than half of the total target for the entire year 2011 of Bt400 billion. Foreign investment grew by 64 per cent while investment by SMEs expanded by 525 per cent.
Dr. Atchaka Sibunruang, Secretary General of the Board of Investment, disclosed that at the BOI board meeting chaired by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, the BOI reported the successful five-month investment record. From January through May 2011, investment in Thailand expanded in terms of both the number of projects and investment value. Investment applications included 725 projects with a total value of Bt208 billion, representing more than half of the entire year’s target of at least Bt400 billion.
Considered in terms of the number of investment projects, this year growth was 51 per cent greater than the same period last year (480 projects). Investment value increased by 25 per cent year-on-year against Bt166 billion in 2010.
The most attractive businesses have been in the metal, machinery and transport equipment industries, which attracted 184 projects with a total investment of Bt63 billion. The second most attractive sectors have been service and infrastructure, with 154 projects and a Bt42 billion investment value. Following these were chemical products, paper and plastics (99 projects, Bt37 billion), and electronics and electrical appliances (108 projects, Bt28 billion), respectively.
“A positive investment trend has been strong since the beginning of this year,” said Dr. Sibunruang. “In addition to enhancing confidence in Thailand as an investment hub, the government’s policy to promote target industries has also been given a strong welcome by investors. The terms of the policy include, for example, promotion for business operators investing in upgrading production machinery to achieve better energy saving and less environmental impact.
At present many businesses have responded to the policy, and total investment under this measure was more than Bt2.416 billion. Another policy is to include more businesses and to improve investment incentive conditions for SMEs. It has already attracted 92 projects, an increase of 178 per cent over 2010, while investment value grew by 525 per cent to Bt3.709 billion as compared with Bt593 million last year.”
Foreign direct investment (FDI) has also shown a positive trend. In the past five months, BOI has received applications from 431 projects with a total Bt141.196 billion investment value. Japanese investors are the most important in terms of number of projects and investment value.
A total of 221 projects from Japanese investors, with a Bt57.438 billion investment value, have applied for investment incentives from the BOI. This represents a 77 per cent growth over last year and accounted for 41 per cent of total foreign investment during the first five months of this year. Most of the investment was in automotive and electronic part production projects.
China is the second largest investor with Bt20.5 billion in investment value, accounting for 15 per cent of the total FDI. One of the major projects is a Bt19 billion car tire production project.
Investment from the United States ranked third. Despite its total value of only Bt3.373 billion during the first five months of the year, the US also invested Bt3.191billion in a mining equipment and machinery production project, and Bt4.372 billion in a backhoe production project, through Singaporean companies. The aggregated Bt10.936 billion investment value has placed the US third on the list.
Investment from Singapore was Bt10.3 billion, accounting for 7 per cent of the total FDI. Major investment projects are integrated circuits, machinery and equipment production.
Total investment from Hong Kong was Bt10.096 billion, or 7 per cent of the FDI. Major projects are black liquor electricity generating, amusement park, and hotel projects.