Investment applications for the Board of Investment's (BoI) privileges were flat in the first nine months compared to the same period last year in line with the global economic slowdown, says the investment promotion agency.
Udom: Investment value still healthy
Despite increasing interest from Chinese and Malaysian investors, applications edged up by 0.7% year-on-year from 732 billion baht from January to September last year while the number of projects fell 6.3% from 1,528.
"Despite the year-on-year decline, investment worth 732 billion baht is among the highest realised in the past few years for the nine-month period," said BoI secretary-general Udom Wongviwatchai.
Normally, investment applications average 600-700 billion baht, prompting the agency to remain confident that the all-year target of 1 trillion baht can be achieved, said Mr Udom.
Japan ranked top among foreign investors with 448 projects worth 211.35 billion baht approved in the first nine months, representing a decline of 23% in both project number and value.
Investors from the US remained at second place with project value falling 49% year-on-year from 16 billion baht in 2012 although project numbers surged 22% from 36. In third place was the Netherlands with project number and investment value contracting 31% and 48% year-on-year to 26 projects and 21.1 billion baht, respectively.
"Although investment from some countries dropped because of stagnating global economic conditions, applications from others have surged. Malaysia, for instance, rose 33% in value from the same period of 2012 to 13.8 billion baht from 26 projects," said Mr Udom.
Applications from China also grew, surging 267% year-on-year to 37.7 billion baht.
Service and infrastructure projects stayed top among sectors for the nine-month period, followed by transportation, including automobiles, while the agricultural sector ranked third.
"There are a lot of big projects worth more than one billion baht the BoI approved in the third quarter including Honda's 33-billion-baht investments in manufacturing and auto parts, as well as Toyota's 17-billion-baht project for diesel engines and auto parts," Mr Udom said.