Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has encouraged more domestic investment from both Thai and foreign investors in order to increase the country’s GDP.
The Prime Minister on 10 February 2021 chaired a meeting of the Board of Investment (BOI), which approved incentives offered to BOI-promoted companies to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), or the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI), so that they will have greater access to new funding sources.
The Prime Minister urged BOI to follow up on progress of investment promotion carried out in various countries in order to set its investment promotion measures appropriately, which would enhance Thailand’s competitiveness.
Concerning Thailand’s investment situation, BOI Secretary-General Duangjai Asawachintachit said that, in 2020, local and foreign investors filed a total of 1,717 applications for investment promotion, representing a combined investment value of 481.1 billion baht (USD 16 billion), led by projects in the electric and electronics sector and the agriculture and food processing sector, and a surge in the medical sector.
“The coronavirus outbreak represented both a challenge and an opportunity, and while the overall economy registered a slowdown in 2020, businesses that can continue to expand during the crisis, such as the medical sector, witnessed an increased number of investment applications,” Ms. Duangjai said.
She pointed out that the number of projects and the investment value reflected the success of the investment promotion measures BOI took in the past year to answer the needs of the market, especially in the medical masks, hygiene products, and medical rubber gloves segments.
Applications for projects in the target industries, sectors of strategic importance for the country’s economic development, amounted to 230.7 billion baht, or 48 percent of the total value of applications. The top five sectors by value were: (1) electrical appliances and electronics, with 50.3 billion baht, (2) agriculture and food processing, with 41.1 billion baht, (3) automotive and parts, with 37.8 billion baht, (4) petrochemicals and chemicals, with 36 billion baht, and (5) biotechnology, with 30 billion baht.
The medical sector saw a noticeable increase in the value of applications, which grew 165 percent from 2019 to 22.3 billion baht, as a result of special incentives offered by BOI to this industry in support of Thailand’s efforts to manage the COVID-19 crisis. Investments in this sector came from both large companies and SMEs.
As for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), some 907 project applications, with a total investment value of 213.2 billion baht, were filed in 2020. Japan ranked first and China came second, followed by the United States.
Source: The Government Public Relations Department