By WATCHARA PUSSAYANAWIN
THE BOARD OF INVESTMENT will propose for its directors' consideration next Tuesday 10 projects with combined value of more than Bt50 billion, including three under Phase 2 of the eco-car programme, the agriculture industry, and services.
BOI secretary-general Udom Wongviwatchai said that in the past seven months, the total value of projects applying for promotional privileges or incentives was Bt380 billion. With more projects seeking BOI promotional privileges in the last two months of this year, the 2014 target of Bt700 billion will likely be surpassed.
The BOI has so far approved projects with combined investment value of Bt350 billion, which should rise to Bt400 billion after its directors approve more projects next week at its last meeting before the new government appoints a new board of directors. The pending investment projects will not be affected during this transition period.
The BOI plans to set up offices next year in Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam to promote Thai investments in those countries. It is preparing strategic plans to help Thai companies invest abroad. They are expected to be completed by early next year, and will be proposed to the BOI’s directors for approval thereafter, Udom said.
The implementation of the BOI’s new investment-promotion plans set for January 1, 2015, will proceed as scheduled. The agency has begun approving investment privileges and incentives for projects involving high technologies (for example automobiles, electrical and electronic products, processed agricultural technologies and bio-technologies), which would raise the value-added content of exports and enhance competitiveness of Thai goods, Udom said.
The BOI is also promoting investment in tourism-related businesses and power generation to support the growing demand for electricity in line with future economic growth.
As for next year’s outlook, the BOI expects Thailand’s gross domestic product to grow by 4.5-5.5 per cent to drive investment amid a stable world economy. More investment is expected, but the extent of expansion will have to be evaluated this year-end, according to Udom.
The BOI has set up a database for Thai investors and firms seeking business opportunities overseas. So far, more than 14,000 people have accessed the database and more than 1,000 others have used the BOI’s overseas investment advisory services, with 30 per cent, or 300 cases, leading to actual investment abroad.
Moreover, the BOI has led 200-300 investors to survey business opportunities overseas.
Besides the considerable number of large Thai companies investing abroad, the BOI has assisted many medium-size firms with overseas investment, mostly related to processed food products, garments, mining, and natural resources. Most investment by Thai firms abroad is in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, Udom said.