Somkid orders BoI to actively corral FDI for tourism

Somkid orders BoI to actively corral FDI for tourism

The Board of Investment (BoI) has been told to accelerate the introduction of intensive schemes to promote investment in tourism and related industries.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said yesterday at the board's meeting that the BoI, which handles investment promotion, should take a more proactive role in attracting foreign investors to tourism and related industries. He said the BoI knows the potential of each company in various sectors.

"The BoI needs to reconsider measures that would stimulate tourism investment, such as the 'Thailand Riviera' development scheme for provinces in the Southern Economic Corridor, as well as second-tier tourism provinces," Mr Somkid said. "The measures should also enhance networks linking visitor destinations in main tourism provinces and second-tier tourism provinces."

He said the government aims to tailor policies to promote the tourism industry specifically, separate from the general promotional policy.

Duangjai Asawachintachit, secretary-general of the BoI, said the board may offer promotional privileges as a package to special tourism zones, and the new measures are likely to be proposed to the board at the next meeting.

BoI offers privileges to 10 categories of tourism-related businesses, including amusement parks, museums, art centres and aquariums, with an exemption from corporate income tax for five years.

In a related development, yesterday's BoI meeting chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha approved promotional privileges for four projects worth a combined 160 billion baht.

The biggest project, worth 156.62 billion baht, is by Thai Oil Plc to manufacture finished oil products, especially diesel oil and petrol for aircraft to support Thailand's logistics hub, aviation city at U-tapao airport and the Eastern Economic Corridor.

An oil refinery is also to be established by Thai Oil in Chon Buri.

The second project is by Siam Denso Manufacturing to manufacture parts for diesel engines that can save energy and reduce emissions to conform with EU standards. The project, worth 2.63 billion baht, will be located in Chon Buri.

The project is expected to use domestic parts worth 2.63 billion baht a year.

Ms Duangjai said the board also approved in principle the third phase of Map Ta Phut port, as proposed by the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand.

The third phase of Map Ta Phut port is worth 11 billion baht.

The BoI already approved in principle the promotion of high-speed rail linking three airports, worth 200 billion baht, Ms Duangjai said.

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