Provincial governors urged to stimulate investments

Provincial governors urged to stimulate investments

Provincial governors and administrative organisations are being urged to play a more proactive part to help boost investments in their provinces.

Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, who recently instructed provincial governors and administrative organisations nationwide to stimulate investment activities in their provinces, said governors have an important role to play in each province.

If governors can attract more investments in their provinces, it will help bolster the country's overall economy this year, he said.

"Investors need confidence. If governors can help supervise and build up confidence, investors will be ready to implement their projects," said Mr Supattanapong.

The deputy premier also instructed governors to apply data analytics based on the information of the 40-50 million Thais who applied for the government's aid measures, which can support and supplement investment decisions.

"Data analytics will help investors find their target customers and launch businesses that meet market demand," he said.

Each province should determine priority projects to facilitate investment such as infrastructure development, facilities to support tourism and safety measures, said Mr Supattanapong.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered an ad hoc committee at a cabinet meeting on April 7 to accelerate investments, adding related government agencies need to prepare assistance for investors and work quickly to tackle investment obstacles.

In February, the government established an ad hoc committee to handle investment acceleration and pledged to readjust investment privileges, existing laws, regulations and work permits to facilitate and attract investments, especially for advanced technologies.

The committee, headed by Mr Supattanapong's adviser, ML Chayotid Kridakorn, the former senior country officer and managing director for JPMorgan Thailand, is tasked with working on new investment privileges and improving regulations that stymie investments.

The committee aims to lure outlays for electrical vehicles, medical and wellness, smart electronics, and digital.

The new packages are expected to include not only income tax perks, but also measures that facilitate visa and work permit procedures.

The government aims to raise investment applications topping 400 billion baht this year.

The BoI reported on Feb 10 investment applications totalled 481 billion baht in 2020, down by 30% from 691 billion in 2019. The lower applications were attributed to the pandemic.

The number of projects increased by 13% last year to 1,717 from 1,523 in 2019.

Japanese companies topped foreign direct investment last year at 75.9 billion baht. China came in second with 31.5 billion baht, followed by the US with 24.6 billion.

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