Thailand wants more investment from the United States of America

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, who oversees the economy in the Kingdom, urged the Ministry of Industry of Thailand last week to more aggressively pursue investment projects from U. S. companies.

Somkid said that Thailand stands to gain from the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy being advanced by the U.S. and Japan.

“This initiative of Japan and the U.S. could help Thailand stay strong amid,” Somkid said. “We should benefit by joining the Strategy. The Ministry of Industry should move quickly to invite more foreign investors.”

Thailand is facing increasing competition for investment from others in the region, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Viet Nam. Although Thailand has many advantages in terms of infrastructure, logistics, and location, the others are beginning to offer generous investment incentives, and so Thailand needs to act fast.

“If Thailand moves slowly, we will be left behind,” Somkid said.

He also said the Board of Investment (BOI) of Thailand should adjust its investment incentives and privileges to better compete with others in the region. He added that the Board should develop incentives for small and medium-sized firms, as they have been largely ignored.

Just days before Somkid made his appeal, the Ministry of Industry said it would ask the BOI to create a package of incentives for U. S.-based ExxonMobil. The Ministry was responding to requests from the company related to the new $10.6 billion refinery and ethylene cracker it is building in Thailand.

The Ministry said it would arrange further meetings with the company, the U.S. embassy, the BOI, and other Thai government agencies. The intention is to meet ExxonMobil’s needs and develop the most appropriate incentives for the project.

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