Foreign investment pledges fall 29% y/y Jan-Sept

Foreign investment pledges fall 29% y/y Jan-Sept

Foreign investment applications in Thailand amounted to 118.5 billion baht in January-September, down 29% from a year earlier, as investors were deterred by the coronavirus pandemic, an investment agency said on Wednesday.

Foreign investors remain interested in the country, despite months of political protests, Duangjai Asawachintachit, secretary general of the Board of Investment (BoI), told a briefing.

"Investors who plan to invest in Thailand will consider long-term factors more than short-term factors. Thailand is still attractive for them," Mr Duangjai said.

Japan remains Thailand's biggest investor, with projects worth 37.5 billion baht, followed by China's 21.2 billion baht of pledges.

Thailand has seen some of the biggest political protests in years in recent months, calling for the removal of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, changes to the constitution and reforms to curb the powers of the monarchy.

In the first nine months of this year, combined domestic and foreign investment pledges declined 15% from a year earlier to 223.7 billion baht, due to a smaller average size of projects.

That came amid a decline in investment globally due to the coronavirus pandemic, the BoI said.

It aims to attract 300 billion baht of overall investment this year, a 60% decline from 2019.

It hopes new incentives will spur more investment, however, such as resuming accepting applications for investments in the electric vehicles sector, which was stopped in 2018, Mr Duangjai said. 

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