BOI explains its position to the AFG

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The President of the Automotive Focus Group (AFG) Frank Holzer welcomed Chokedee Kaerwsang, the Deputy Secretary General of the Office of the Board of Investment (BOI) to the meeting of the AFG members.

It was a packed house at the Nova Platinum, showing the interest that the AFG has in all aspects of the Automotive industry.

Chokedee began his most informative talk, admitting that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) had gone down significantly over the last five months, however, for the BOI, the Automotive sector was still number 1.

Chokedee Kaerwsang, the Deputy Secretary General of the Office of the Board of Investment.Chokedee Kaerwsang, the Deputy Secretary General of the Office of the Board of Investment.

He also said that currently there were 800 investment projects (equivalent of 800 million THB) waiting ratification.  There was, however, a huge stumbling block in the fact that the old board has been dispensed with, following the coup and the new board, able to make decisions, was only appointed on June 7, 2014.

However, at question time, Chokedee indicated he was very hopeful that the backlog could be cleared within three months.

Much importance regarding the FDI was coming from the Phase 2 ECO car development.  There were 10 applications for ECO Car 2, with production to start by 2019.  Seven of these applications were from Japan, two from the USA and one from China.  50 percent of the production will be destined for export.

Some factors being taken into consideration by the BOI are that they want to promote the development of competitiveness, Green industries and regional clusters.  Chokedee also mentioned that insufficient infrastructure holds investment back in Thailand.

Other factors which came as a surprise for many people were the stress on technology, decentralization and R&D.  The BOI thinking was that infrastructure up-date should be close to the Thai borders to be able to cheaply get components made in the bordering countries, and have them assembled in Thailand.  This is looking forward to the AEC at the end of next year, when cross-border traffic is to be freed up.  Currently the GDP of ASEAN is 2.3 trillion USD, and it is projected that this will double by 2020.

The evening finished around the buffet tables at Nova Platinum, and the next meeting will be July 25 which will incorporate a plant tour of the ZF factory.  Further details can be obtained via email [email protected]