Thailand is working out a new investment promotion strategy, which will focus on industrial restructuring toward knowledge-based, or high-technology, industries.
Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk said that the Ministry of Industry and the Office of the Board of Investment (BOI) was sounding out the opinions of both Thai and foreign investors to work out the new investment promotion strategy.
Five seminars have been prepared to offer opportunities for business operators across the country to express their opinions. The first seminar took place at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok on 14 January 2013. The second seminar is scheduled for 24 January at the Zign Hotel in Chon Buri. The third seminar will be held on 4 February at the Holiday Inn in Chiang Mai, the fourth one on 11 February at Sima Thani Hotel in Nakhon Ratchasima, and the fifth one on 18 February at the Diamond Plaza Hotel in Surat Thani.
Suggestions and recommendations offered at the seminars will be included in the proposal on the new investment promotion strategy to be presented to a BOI Board meeting, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mr. Kitiratt Na-Ranong in March. The new investment promotion policy under this new strategy is likely to be implemented in June 2013.
BOI Secretary General Udom Wongwiwatchai said that BOI would place more emphasis on investment that promotes a good balance between economic growth and social and environmental development, as well as a balance between agricultural, industrial, and service sectors. This includes the industries in which Thailand has good potential, such as those involved with food processing, rubber products, health care, and creative industries. Other industries to received greater attention are those related to future global trends, such as alternative energy, biotechnology, and high-value-added services.
While basic incentives will be minimized, BOI will offer additional incentives for companies that have more investment in research and development, human resource training, and environmental protection. It will also adjust investment rules and regulations on non-tax benefits and services to improve the business environment, while encouraging Thai investors to invest more in other countries.
The Industry Minister believed that the new investment policy would help push for the development of Thailand as a leading production base in the world. He quoted statistics compiled by BOI that Thailand’s investment value in 2012 reached 1.46 trillion baht, an increase of 131 percent over 2011.
A total of 2,582 investment applications were accepted from January to December 2012, representing an increase of 29.7 percent over 2011. They created job opportunities for 348,866 people. The industries with the highest investment value included service and public utilities, followed by metal products, machinery, and transport equipment. Chemical, paper, and plastic industries came third, while the electronic and electrical appliance industries ranked fourth.
via Inside Thailand — New Investment Promotion Strategy to Focus on Knowledge-based Industries.