Bt1 trillion investment with promotional privileges in 2013

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BANGKOK, Jan 15 – Thailand’s Board of Investment (BoI) granted promotional privileges to 2,237 projects with a total investment of more than Bt1.1 trillion last year, its secretary general announced.

Udom Wongviwatchai said the new investment projects created 207,465 jobs countrywide with service and public utility business being the most attractive with 849 projects or the highest investment value at Bt522.8 billion, representing a 21 per cent increase from 2012.

The second highest investment involved 448 projects in steel products, machinery and transport equipment at a total value of Bt254.3 billion, or 4 per cent higher than 2012.

Investment in agriculture and agricultural produce involved 362 projects or Bt122.7 billion, or 38 per cent increase from 2012.

Mr Udom said 1,132 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects last year, valued at Bt524.7 billion, dropped 28.5 per cent from 2012.

Japan, investing in 562 projects at a total of Bt282.8 billion or 54 per cent of total foreign investment in Thailand, topped the FDI, mainly in steel products, auto and parts manufacturing.

China, the second largest investor, was involved in 45 projects at Bt42.5 billion, followed by Malaysia in 35 projects at Bt29.2 billion, Singapore in 93 projects at Bt22.8 billion and Hong Kong in 39 projects at Bt20 billion.

Mr Udom said last year’s overall investment was satisfactory though lower than in 2012 which involved 2,347 projects with a total investment of Bt1.18 trillion.

He said promotional privileges for sustainable development, which expired in December, compelled foreign investors to speed up their applications before the deadline.

In December alone, 554 projects, at a total investment value of Bt270.3 billion, were granted promotional privileges for such projects as natural gas and renewable energy manufacturing, a biogas production project, hard disk drive and parts production.

He said foreign investors particularly the Japanese were keen to continue their investment in Thailand partly to prepare for next year’s launch of the  ASEAN Economic Community.

They are interested in investing in the auto and eco car industries, the air transport industry and processing agricultural produce.

He said promotional privileges for some schemes will end this year, consequently accelerating foreign investment in a number of industries.

Mr Udom said the political unrest will delay the decisions of new investors while a postponement of the state’s mega projects and water management project will have an impact on foreign investors who have been preparing to invest in related projects.

He said the BoI will this year focus on nine industrial sectors including processing agriculture, high technology manufacturing of auto and parts, machinery, electronics especially hard disk drive and parts, creative industry such as software and animation, design centres, high value service industry, renewable energy, bio tech and nanotech, bio plastics and environment-related industries.