THE BOARD of Investment says it is confident the government’s policy of promoting industry clusters will attract leading electronics companies to invest more in Thailand.
Deputy secretary-general Ajarin Pattanapanchai said many of the world’s leading companies in the electronics and electrical-appliance industries had plans to invest in the Kingdom, including those who already have production bases here and are considering expansion, as well as new investors.
“This comes as a result of new investment-promotion policy and the cluster-promotion scheme that focuses on promoting projects that use advanced technologies and innovations, and those categorised as the ‘industries of the future’,” she said.
Last year the BOI approved 319 projects in the electronics and electrical-appliances sector with a total investment value of Bt116.89 billion.
Activities that comply with the government’s “digital economy” policy include 173 software projects with a total investment of Bt1.37 billion, eight telecommunications-equipment projects with a total investment of Bt17.02 billion, and two cloud-service projects with a combined investment of Bt520 million.
Furthermore, there are major smartphone parts-manufacturing projects. The NMB-Minebea Thai project is to produce lighting devices and parts for smartphone LCD screens valued at Bt3.96 billion, while Fujikura Electronics (Thailand)’s assembly project for flexible printed circuit boards will supply parts for tablets, smartphones and smart watches, valued at Bt2.97 billion.
“There is also Sony Technology (Thailand), which has received [BOI support] to produce smartphones with a total investment of Bt2.2 billion, which is Sony’s first relocation of a production base overseas,” Ajarin said.
In addition, Mitsubishi Electronics Consumer Products (Thailand) will invest Bt10.7 billion in a project to manufacture air-conditioners.
Meanwhile, Ajarin said the BOI had also emphasised the promotion of product designs that go beyond just being an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), for which a Thai company, Silicon Craft Technology, recently won an investment-promotional package.
Although the investment cost is small – about Bt20 million – the company has its own innovation, which is to design microchips for RFID (radio frequency identification) applications such as counting the numbers and following up the growth of livestock herds.
This company has clients in Europe, she said.