Investment applications in Thailand up 69 percent this year

Despite slowing global growth, companies applying for investment privileges with the Board of Investment (BOI) rose 69 percent during the first nine months of this year, evidence that Thailand remains attractive as a place to do business.

Investment is one of the three main pillars of the Thai economy, along with consumption and exports, with overseas shipments accounting for the largest share of growth. Investment figures are the most forward-looking indicator and are evidence of the level of confidence in Thailand’s prospects among local and foreign business communities.

“Based on the applications we received over nine months, it can be confirmed that Thailand continues being an attractive investment destination, despite the fluctuations seen in the global economy,” said Duangjai Asawachintachit, Board of Investment Secretary-General.

From January through the end of September, the BOI received applications that totaled over $6.7 billion in value, for an increase of 69 percent over the same period last year. Many of the applications were for businesses in the 12-targeted industries the government is promoting to propel Thailand’s development to a more advanced level. Applications in those industries were valued at $4.3 billion, or 65 percent of all applications.

The results were even more impressive in an environment where global growth is slowing, and some economists have been expressing concerns that recession could be on the horizon. Usually, that would make investors more cautious.

Overall, the BOI accepted submissions for 689 projects from foreign investors. Japan submitted the highest number with 167 projects. China was second with 139 projects, and Switzerland came in third with 15.

Adding domestic investors to the mix, the BOI received applications for 1,165. That is 11 percent more projects than during the same period last year, indicating that the investments this year were of much higher value.

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