Investment applications soared by 77 percent in first quarter

Investors are turning to Thailand again. Applications to invest in the Kingdom soared by 77 percent in the first three months of 2023, a solid vote of confidence by the global business community in Thailand’s economy and future prospects.

The 77 percent increase over the same period last year was driven by investments in electric appliances and electronics (E&E), food processing, chemicals, and the automotive industry, according to the Board of Investment (BOI), which said that the inflows validated its new strategy to promote the more advanced and green sectors of the economy.

“The number of applications for investment promotion in the first quarter increased considerably, demonstrating investors’ interest in the investment promotion benefits offered by the BOI under the new strategy aiming to restructure the Thai economy towards a new economy,” said Narit Therdsteerasukdi, BOI Secretary General.

“We also noticed a continuous flow of applications under the Smart and Sustainable Industry measures, which reflects the fact that companies are paying increasing attention to upgrades and improvements of their operations, especially with the use of renewable energy,” added Narit.

The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), Thailand’s high-tech three-province industrial development just east of Bangkok, proved to be the biggest magnet for investors geographically, reeling in $2.92 billion worth of investment pledges, almost double the $1.58 billion from a year ago.

Meanwhile, the total value of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects shot up by 115 percent in value from the previous year to $4.47 billion, representing 83 percent of total applications. The number of FDI projects increased 10 percent to 211.

South Korea was the largest investor with projects worth of $907 million mostly from a large project in the E&E sector, followed by Singapore with $858 million mostly related to a $535 million investment in a solar cell production business by a unit of a Canadian company.

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