BoI rejig aims to bolster Thailand 4.0
New model needed to stimulate investment
The government has ordered the restructuring of the Board of Investment (BoI) to improve its ability to serve rising new investment, especially in targeted value-added industries, says Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.
He said the restructuring is expected to conclude in three months in order to accelerate new investment to reach the year-end target.
"The newly restructured BoI must serve new-generation industries, especially the 10 targeted industries, as Thailand needs a new working model to stimulate investment," said Mr Somkid.
The 10 sectors are meant to modernise the country's industry as part of the government's Thailand 4.0 scheme.
The targeted industries are: automotive and auto parts, including electric vehicles; smart electronics; affluent, medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; food; robotics for industry; logistics and aviation; biofuels and biochemicals; digital; and medical services.
Mr Somkid has also ordered the BoI to hold more roadshows, especially in the target markets of Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, to attract investors to Thailand.
He said those three markets have strong potential and business models, especially when it comes to small and medium-sized enterprises that are similar to those in Thailand, making it easier to create joint-ventures or business matching.
"Over the past few years we have focused a lot on attracting investors from China, Japan and Europe, bringing a lot of new investment to Thailand," said Mr Somkid. "Now, we have to focus on nearby Asian countries that have strong potential, as well as business models and cultures that are similar to Thailand."
Mr Somkid also wants the BoI to hold another roadshow is South Korea, where there are several high-tech industries seeking to expand in Thailand and Asean.
He said inviting more investors from South Korea would help increase technology transfers, aiding the upgrade of Thai industries.
The BoI plans to hold roadshows in France and Germany from October 4-8 in order to entice high-tech firms to invest in Thailand.
"Thailand needs to invite investors involved in several high technology sectors, including automotive, aviation and digital," said Mr Somkid.
He said the government is now focusing on attracting investors from Asian countries to boost investment in Thailand since the BoI has revised its investment target this year to 550 billion baht, up from 450 billion.
Hiranya Suchinai, the BoI secretary-general, said the agency has submitted a plan to set up a new department to cover all work related to investment.
The department will include a new unit to help promote and attract more investment in both high-tech and the 10 targeted industries. The agency also seeks to reorganise its existing BoI Unit for Industrial Linkage Development to make it to be more efficient.
Currently, the BoI has four investment promotion bureaus, covering agro-industry and light industries, metal products, machinery and transport, and the electronics and electrical industries.
The assembly line at Honda's car plant in Prachin Buri. The Board of Investment has been ordered to restructure to enable it to serve new-generation industries. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD