Thailand remains attractive to Swiss and Italian investors even amidst the global economic downturn. According to Thailand Board of Investment (BOI), the net applications from Switzerland during Jan-Feb 2009 reached Bt1.43 billion (USD39.9 million), almost equal to its total applications in 2008 of Bt1.81 billion (USD50.5 million).
The net applications from Italy during the first two months of 2009 totaled Bt2.04 billion (USD56.9 million), surged over 202.5% from its total application in 2008 of Bt676 million (USD18.8 million). The investment applications are mainly from manufacturing businesses including energy-saving products, animal feed, electronic parts, and international procurement centers.
Dr. Atchaka Sibunruang Brimble, BOI Secretary General, revealed after returning from road show mission in Europe during March 12-19 that,
’Even the global FDI begins to slow down due to the global economic crisis, European investors still consider Thailand as one of the most attractive destinations in the region. Some sectors still see prospective opportunities, such as green technology and agro-industry. EU is currently the second top investor in Thailand after Japan.’
The BOI joined hands with the Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce (SACC) to organize a seminar titled ’Exploring Investment Opportunities in Thailand’ in Zurich on March 12, 2009. Mr. Bernhard Pleschko, Swarovski Group’s Vice President, joined in sharing the company’s success story in Thailand. On this Europe’s mission, the BOI executives also visited top European enterprises, including NestlÃ© and Michelin.
According to Dr. Atchaka, the European investors expressed confidence in investment opportunities in Thailand. The BOI assured the European investors that it will assist in resolving investors’ obstacles in doing business, as well as improving investment climate in order to enhance Thailand’s attractiveness as one of the most favourable investment destinations in the region.