PM highlights Thailand’s six advantages as investment destination

THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2024

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin told potential investors on Wednesday that Thailand is extremely well-suited to being a hub for key industries including electrical vehicle (EV) and electronics manufacturing thanks to six distinct advantages over its competitors in the region.

Srettha was speaking at SUBCON Thailand 2024, an international trade show for part-sourcing and business-matching of subcontracting manufacturers, organised by the Thai Subcontracting Promotion Association from May 15 to 18 in Bangkok.

The premier said the first advantage of Thailand is its freedom from geopolitical tensions and wars, which make it stand out from other countries. Thailand’s neutrality has made the kingdom an attractive destination for international corporations to invest in both their respective industries and Thailand’s mega projects, he said.

“The government’s Land Bridge project, although costing US$ 300 billion, will be a rewarding investment as it offers an alternative to logistic routes, further promoting Thailand as a strong manufacturing and export base,” Srettha said.

The mega project involves constructing deep-sea ports in Chumphon and Ranong provinces in the South of Thailand and transforming transport routes between Chumphon and Ranong to link the ports.

The land bridge will establish a link between the Pacific and Indian oceans, easing shipping congestion in the Malacca Straits, currently the main regional trade route for cargo.

Srettha said the second advantage of Thailand involves the government’s policies in promoting the use of clean energy, with a goal of having renewable energy accounting for 50% of the country’s total energy output by 2040. This clean energy will support large industries, including the data centres that support Thailand’s digital economy, he added.

The third advantage is Thailand’s ongoing negotiations on free trade agreements with several countries, enabling the continued expansion of international trade.

“We have recently signed an MOU with Sri Lanka and will proceed with negotiating more FTAs with the European Union, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom,” the premier said.

Srettha went on to say that Thailand’s focus on improving quality of life contributes to the country’s fourth advantage. He pointed out that Thailand has a comprehensive healthcare system of international standard backed by leading hospitals, while expats working in Thailand enjoy ease of doing business under the government’s National Single Window system, as well as facilities such as international schools.

The fifth advantage is the government’s commitment to linking Thai entrepreneurs to the supply chain of international trade partners, said the premier, adding that move has facilitated the knowledge transfer and continued skills improvement of the Thai workforce.

“Lastly, the sixth advantage of Thailand as an investment destination is our comprehensive infrastructure that include airports, roads, rail system and ports,” Srettha said. “We are fast-tracking the development of deep sea ports in the Eastern Economic Corridor, which will serve as logistics routes for several key industries.”

According to the organiser, SUBCON Thailand 2024 at BITEC Bangna saw the participation of more than 500 domestic and international companies and is expected to generate over 22 billion baht from business matching. This year is also the first time that the Board of Investment is hosting the “BOI Symposium: EV Supply Chain” at the fair. Representatives of seven EV makers who have invested in Thailand, namely BYD, MG, Great Wall Motor, Neta, Changan, GAC Aion and Chery will participate in the business forum.