Thailand still attractive to foreign investors

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BANGKOK, Oct 16 – Foreign investors have applied for promotional privileges in 1,431 projects with a combined investment value of Bt737.8 billion in the first three quarters of the year, according to the Board of Investment (BoI).

Udom Wongviwatchai, BoI secretary general, said the projects were down by 6.3 per cent from 1,528 projects in the same period of last year but the investment value was slightly higher by 0.7 per cent. The value of investments in January-September last year was Bt732 billion.

The seven highest industries seeking promotional privileges were service and public utility; steel products, machinery and transport equipment; agriculture and agricultural produce; electronics and electrical appliances; chemical, paper and plastic group; mining, ceramic and steel; and light industry.

He said the BoI should reach its targeted promotional privileges at Bt1 trillion for this year, while Japan provided the largest group of foreign investors applying for investment privileges in Thailand.

Investment values from Malaysia and China have increased this year despite the global economic downturn, he said.

Mr Udom said major projects with an investment value higher than Bt1 billion were granted promotional privileges in the first nine months of this year, mainly automobiles, machinery and parts, air transport, tyres for trucks and other vehicles, diesel engines and parts, and logistics parks.