Board of Investment positive on achieving targets this year

Thailand’s Board of Investment said last week it is confident it will achieve its goal of attracting nearly $20 billion in new investments by the end of this year, as the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand also announced it had achieved its land sale targets for the first half of the year and expects to do even better in the second half.

Optimism about the Thai economy is growing, with the business sentiment index rising slightly in June, and the manufacturing index moving into positive territory and expected to stay there for the rest of the year. These indicators follow on the recent raising of forecasts by commercial banks and the World Bank that support the view that Thailand, while not posting soaring growth figures, is entering a period of solid and stable economic expansion after the tough times of two years ago.

Board of Investment (BoI) Acting Secretary-General Hirunya Suchinai said that Thailand had reached almost half the BoI’s total investment target for the year in the first six months, and so the next six months should see a better performance.

“The second half is definitely looking like an improvement from the first six months for seasonal reasons,” Hirunya, said, adding that the recent start of construction on some government infrastructure projects would help stimulate more investment.

“This is like a chain reaction, since the government has aggressively pushed state investment projects to start. This is a major factor boosting the confidence of investors, together with the promotion policies that aim to lure investors to invest now, which could prompt them to make decisions faster to tap the benefits we now offer,” Hirunya said.

BoI incentives were one reason cited by the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) Governor Verapong Chaiperm in reporting that his agency had exceeded is land sale goal in the first half and is also expecting a better second half of the year.

Verapong said the IEAT had sold 692 acres of developed land in the first half, while its target had been 590 acres. He also credited the government’s policy to support special economic zones (SEZs) and its plan to promote targeted industries for the positive sales figures.

The government is promoting the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), which will cluster 10-targeted industries together in the area east of Bangkok, providing them with extensive infrastructure to operate with top efficiency and benefit from synergies. The BoI is offering investors in the EEC tax holidays of eight to 13 years.

“The government’s clear policy to promote investment has helped raise confidence and stimulate investment in Thailand substantially,” Verapong said.