By TINNAKORN CHAOWACHUEN
The Board of Investment remains confident that the total value of applications for investment privileges this year will meet the target of Bt1 trillion, though the number in the second half might not be as high as in the first, said Udom Wongwiwatchai, se
across the globe, especially China’s; the shortage of local labour and rising wages; rising interest rates overseas prompting capital outflows; declining consumption in Thailand; and the declining demand for some products in global markets, such as computer components, for which Thailand is a major production base.
But he said the agricultural, automobile and auto-parts sectors in Thailand would continue to grow in the second half, driven by factory expansion. While domestic car demand may slow, the auto business has adjusted to focus on the export market.
The sectors that are forecast to slow their investment include labour-intensive industries such as garments and shoes, mainly affected by the labour shortage.
The BoI and the Industry Ministry jointly conducted a roadshow in Germany from July 9-11 during which Thai officials met with Siemens executives interested in producing equipment and train parts in Thailand. But before it makes such a commitment, the company wants to see progress on the Bt2-trillion infrastructure Borrowing Bill, which is still in the parliamentary process.
The BoI also met with Leoni AG, a manufacturer of cables and cable systems, wires and wiring systems, and optical fibres for the automotive, healthcare and electrical-appliance industries. It is keen to study investment in Thailand, after which it is expected to invest Bt1 billion initially.
According to Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk, the BoI witnessed Bt632 billion worth of investment in the first six months, with 1,055 projects requesting support from the board. The number of requests rose 5.8 per cent compared with the same period last year, with the value of all projects accounting for a 47-per-cent increase year on year.
Many of the projects requesting support in the first half were those worth between Bt20 million and Bt200 million each, totalling Bt38.9 billion in combined value. Most projects were in the service and public-utility industries, accounting for Bt302 billion, a jump of 190 per cent year on year. These included air transport, natural-gas production, biomass power generation, and product distribution.
Thailand also witnessed foreign direct investment in the first half for 619 projects worth Bt279 billion, of which 333 belonged to Japanese investors worth Bt184.153 billion, followed by Malaysian investors at 18 projects worth Bt17.341 billion, Hong Kong 19 projects worth Bt15.381 billion, Singapore 44 projects worth Bt11.599 billion, and the Netherlands 12 projects worth Bt9.360 billion.