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BoI mulls new packages for foreign investors hit by trade war

Aug 23. 2019
Duangjai Asawachintachit
Duangjai Asawachintachit
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By The Nation

Amid the ongoing US-China trade war, the race to attract foreign investors among Asean countries is heating up, said Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak after visiting the Board of Investment's (BoI) head office on Thursday (August 22).

"To stay competitive, the BoI must come up with new promotional packages, targeting companies affected by the trade war and tariff hikes and wish to relocate their production bases to Thailand,” he said.

Somkid explained that the new promotional packages need to be specially tailored to suit the specific needs of investors from different countries. “For example, South Korean mostly want to invest in areas in the proximity of existing factories owned by South Korean companies. So, we need to make sure that we have vacant space in the industrial zones,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chinese investors are usually working under tight schedules, we need to speed up the licensing process to make sure that they won't miss their delivery deadlines, Somkid said.

BoI will set up a taskforce on foreign investment trend and movements, as well as finding out investors' priorities in terms of promotional privileges. “We must prepare customised packages with detailed investment privileges that suit the need of each company. They must also be flexible and negotiable,” he added.

Meanwhile, BoI secretary-general Duangjai Asawachintachit said the agency had set this year’s investment target at Bt750 billion, focusing on companies wishing to move their production bases from China to Thailand.

“Currently we have a list of over 100 companies in China and other countries wishing to relocate to the Kingdom,” she said.

“The BoI will employ three strategies in handling these companies, depending on their business types and specific needs: 1 Provide customised promotion package to compensate their loss from the trade war; 2 Persuade them to invest in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), and 3 Provide them with stimulus packages for SMEs.”

The secretary-general said the BoI will incorporate Somkid’s suggestions with existing strategies in formulating the new promotional packages, which should be ready before the end of this year.

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