US CEO: Companies investing hundreds of millions in Thailand

The president of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council said last week that companies are investing tens to hundreds of millions of dollars in Thailand as they seek a potential location to manufacture. Meanwhile, the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) said it would propose a ‘relocation package’ of incentives for companies following that path.

“We took the largest delegation in our 35-year history to Thailand to meet with the Thai government two weeks ago. I think that is an indication that our companies are seriously looking at Thailand,” Alexander Feldman, President and CEO of the Council.

“I know of three companies that are moving to Thailand. Unfortunately, I can’t divulge who they are. But they’re name brands, and they’re moving fairly large chunks of their business here,” said Feldman, who is a former State Department official.

“I think we are looking at tens of millions to hundreds of millions (of dollars), maybe more,” Feldman said when asked the size of the investment from the three companies.

From August 13-16, the Council led a delegation of 46 leading American companies on the Council’s annual Thailand Business Mission. Nearly 100 senior executives from a variety of industries met with the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet, and key stakeholders in Thailand.

“This mission was the Council’s largest single delegation to any ASEAN country in its 35-year history and served as companies’ first critical opportunity to engage with the new coalition government,” the Council said in a press release.

Meanwhile, the BOI’s new investment package will focus largely on headquarters, research centers, talent and high technology industry.  “The package aims to promote Thailand as a base for investment for four groups of business,” said Kobsak Pootrakool, Deputy Secretary-General to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha for political affairs.

“The government is set to use all tools from related economic agencies to give Thailand an investment advantage amid higher competition from Vietnam and Indonesia.”

This scheme eyes potential foreign investors from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the U.S. and the European Union that might seek relocation to Southeast Asia.

Photo courtesy of