Investors’ confidence in Thailand’s management of the COVID-19 crisis and the recovery outlook led in the first six months of 2020 to an increase in the number of investment applications, especially in target industries such as the medical sector, the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) said.

In the January-June period, 52 medical sector projects worth 13 billion baht filed investment promotion applications with the BOI, representing a 174% rise in the number of projects and 123% increase in investment value compared to the same period last year, BOI data shows.

The total number of investment applications for all sectors increased 7% to 754 projects, while the investment value dropped 17% to 158.9 billion baht due to the impact of COVID-19 and to the smaller average size of projects.

“Thailand’s performance in the first half of 2020 demonstrates that the country has shown particular resilience to disruption which is important to investment decision,” said BOI Secretary General Duangjai Asawachintachit.

“The timely and spot-on decision by the BOI Board in April this year to offer stimulus packages for the medical sector played a big role in the upsurge of investment in the sector.”

BOI Secretary General Duangjai Asawachintachit.

Meanwhile, the FDI applications in the same period increased 5 % year-on-year to 459 projects with a total value of 75.9 billion baht.

Japan and China take the lead

Japan ranked first with 99 projects worth 22.6 billion baht, representing 30% of the total FDI value. China came in second with 95 projects worth 17.5 billion baht, followed by Singapore with 55 projects worth 10.6 billion baht.

The FDI applications contributed 61% of total investment projects and 48% of total investment value pledges during the January-June period.

In terms of target industries, the sectors that received the most investment pledges in the first half of 2020 from both domestic and foreign investors were electrical appliances and electronics, 28.3 billion baht; agriculture and food processing, 15.3 billion baht; automotive industry, 13.5 billion baht; medical industry, 13 billion baht and petrochemical industry, 4.4 billion baht.

During the period, BOI received 336 applications from new investors worth 42.5 billion baht, accounting for 49% of total project applications and 27% of investment value.

“Given the current situation, we will continue to review our scheme and to do what is required to support existing businesses and attract new investment,” said BOI secretary general.

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