BoI seeks to lure makers of medical equipment

BoI seeks to lure makers of medical equipment

As Asian supply chains reshuffle in the wake of the pandemic, the government is focusing its efforts to attract foreign investors in need of a new manufacturing base around the medical devices sector, a promising industry in light of the health crisis.

The Board of Investment (BoI) aims to set up joint ventures or convince foreign firms to move their manufacturing base for medical devices here.

Sonklin Ploymee, executive director of industrial linkage development at BoI, said the group is focusing on developing the country's subcontracting sector to serve new targeted industries in the future.

"Initially the BoI will focus on the aerospace, medical devices, electric vehicle, smart electronics and the railway system sectors," she said.

The division has successfully conducted several programmes to assist foreign assemblers and manufacturers with sourcing high-quality parts and components from Thai small and medium-sized enterprises.

The BoI plans to hold Subcon Thailand, Asean's largest international industrial subcontracting event, between Sept 23-26 at Bitec in Bangkok to facilitate business matching and create a targeted 12 billion baht in value from 8,000 business matches.

However, it is still uncertain if international travel restrictions will be eased by September to allow the event to take place.

"This is the first time the event will spotlight the medical devices industry," said Ms Sonklin. "Last year, BoI promoted business matching between foreign and local investors in the automotive and machinery sectors."

Suthiket Thatpitak-Kul, in charge of investment promotion for bio- and medical industries under the BoI, said the government aims to develop Thailand as the medical devices hub of Asean.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, there were 2,992 companies related to the medical devices industry in 2015, consisting of 2,494 export companies and 498 manufacturing plants.

"Thailand should increase investment and encourage new development projects in the sector because of its advantages like raw materials and an ageing population," he said.

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