New company registrations and investment projects rising
Despite reports of sagging business confidence, new company registrations increased by 7 percent year on year during the first half of 2015 with the launch of more than 31,000 businesses, and the Board of Investment announced it recently approved 17 new projects bringing in $1.3 billion.
“Thailand still has strong economic fundamentals. More businesses are expected to register in the Kingdom in the remaining months, and the total number could reach 60,000 to 65,000 this year,” said Pongpun Gearaviriyapun, director-general of the Business Development Department at the Ministry of Commerce.
Most of the newly registered businesses during the first half of the year were in construction, property development and wholesale of machinery. They were also many registrations for new e-commerce companies, but the department said that it would closely monitor those companies to check whether they are engaged in unfair trading practices. So far, 12,151 online traders owning 13,811 websites have registered with the department, but many have not.
Pongpun said that some of the positive factors helping to create an environment in which new businesses are sprouting up are the growth of the tourism industry and government spending. However, other negative factors that may be holding back an even greater number of start-ups by investors are the on-going drought, the slow growth of the global economy, a weak export atmosphere and inflation.
While the number of new registrations increased, the total value of the investments in those businesses was lower than during the same period last year, but a full 21 percent, at $2.7 billion. Analysts attributed the decline, however, to more stringent requirements in reporting by investors as to the values of their investments, implying that in past years some had been inflating their investment value.
Meanwhile, the Board of Investment (BOI) said on Friday that it has approved applications for 17 projects worth $1.3 billion. That brought the total value of approved investments during the first half of 2015 to $12.16 billion from 1,254 projects, said Hirunya Suchinai, secretary-general of the BOI. The board expects 1,700 projects to be approved this year, up 2.29 percent from last year. Total investments are expected to exceed $40 billion, compared to $21 billion last year.
Several of the new projects were involved in manufacturing auto parts or in the renewable energy field.
The approvals include investments by Energy Absolute PCL to support its solar energy business in the north, and investments by Hemaraj Land and Development PCL to upgrade its industrial zone in eastern Thailand.
Thailand Focus July 20th ,2015
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