HSBC: Thailand remains the region’s favorite among foreign investors

Thailand is the most popular country for investors planning to expand into new Southeast Asian markets, according to an HSBC bank survey. Investors said that they favor the Kingdom because of its strengths in biotech, edge technology, cybersecurity and digital payments.

“This comes as no surprise. International firms are leveraging Thailand’s competitive wages, increasing domestic income and wealth, growing digital economy and sizeable market as a destination to scale their businesses globally,” said Krisda Phatcharoen, Head of Wholesale Banking at HSBC Thailand.

Evidence of Thailand’s popularity among investors was also underscored last week when the Board of Investment (BOI) approved $5.98 billion worth of applications for new manufacturing and infrastructure projects.

And to further sweeten Thailand as a home for foreign investment, the Board approved a measure that would liberalize the rules allowing foreign firms to own land in the Kingdom.

“This is a major step as land ownership is essential in attracting foreign investment,” said Duangjai Asawachintachit, the BOI’s Secretary-General.

Executives who responded to the HSBC survey mentioned that Thailand has handled the COVID-19 pandemic effectively, coming in second only to Singapore for the quality of its response.

The Bank said that with strong expectations for growth, Thailand is the most popular choice for companies planning expansion into new Southeast Asian markets. More than 23 percent of respondents said that they intend to enter the Thai market in the next two years.

In the region, Thailand has the second-largest number of foreign firms already operating in the country, following Singapore.

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