Total value of investment promotion applications submitted to the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) during the first quarter this year hit record high of 106 per cent compared to the same period last year. Foreign direct investment (FDI) rose 91 per cent in Thai Baht term, confirming the continued strong confidence in the potential of Thailand. In the first quarter of 2012, the BOI recorded total investment value of Bt 231.1 billion, a significant increase of 106% from Bt 111.9 billion in the same period of 2011. The number of investment applications reached 470 projects, a 15% higher than 409 projects in 2011.
Thanks to such promising statistics, the BOI is certain that it will achieve the total investment target of Bt 600 billion by the end of 2012. An impressive growth was seen in the chemicals, paper and plastics industries with the investment value reaching Bt 65.4 billion from 73 projects, followed by the service and public utilities sector with 118 projects applying for the BOI incentives worth around Bt 54.8 billion.
Came in third was the electronic and electrical appliance industries with Bt 48.3 billion in investment value from total 86 projects. Foreign investment in Thailand rises 91% in Q1 2012 Foreign direct investment applying for investment promotion during the first quarter of 2012 surged 91% from Bt 70.1 billion in 2011 to Bt 134.2 billion in 2012.
The number of investment project applications grew by 23% from last year’s 254 projects to 312 projects in 2012.
The increase in foreign investment also includes the investment expansions from flood-affected projects. This is a strong sign indicating strong foreign companies’ commitment to Thailand despite the impact from the massive natural disaster last year. The expansion projects accounted for Bt 98.0 billion investment value from 184 projects, whereas there were 128 new projects worth around Bt 36.2 billion in total applying for the incentives for the first time.
The industries that attracted the most foreign investment were electronic and electrical appliance with 73 projects in total worth nearly Bt 48.2 billion in terms of investment value. The industry that ranked second was metal products, machinery, and transport equipment which saw applications from 91 projects with a total investment value of Bt 27.5 billion. The statistics also showed that there continued to be a sturdy inflow from Japanese investors who have been the largest investors in Thailand for decades.
In Q1 2012, there were up to 173 projects from Japanese investors alone with an aggregated investment value of Bt 78.0 billion, soaring 121% compared to the same period last year. Holding the second place was Malaysia with 11 projects and Bt 10.7 billion in investment value. Ranking third was investment from the United States which submitted applications for 17 projects and Bt 9.1 billion in total investment value.
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Zhong Li is a tech journalist who covers the latest developments in artificial intelligence, robotics, and biotechnology. Zhong Li is passionate about exploring the ethical and social implications of emerging technologies.