Despite continued outbreaks of Covid-19, foreign direct investment (FDI) is thriving, with applications in the first quarter surging 143% year-on-year in investment value.
Narit Therdsteerasukdi, deputy secretary-general of the Board of Investment (BoI), said net applications filed for FDI in the period totalled 191 projects, down 17% from 231 year-on-year.
However, investment value increased by 143% to 62 billion baht from 25.6 billion in the first quarter last year.
FDI applications accounted for 48% of total investment application projects in the first quarter, while FDI investment value contributed 50% of total investment applications valued at 123 billion baht in the quarter.
FDI applications were mainly in the electrical and electronics industry, making up 52 projects and 27% of total FDI applications, followed by metal products with 45 projects, and machinery and transport equipment at 24%.
Mr Narit said 154 FDI applications worth 47 billion baht were related to the expansion of existing investment projects, which shows foreign investors are still confident in investing in Thailand.
In terms of investment value, South Korean companies topped FDI applications in the first quarter with 10.5 billion baht for eight projects.
China came in second with 10.4 billion baht for 37 projects, followed by Singapore with 10.3 billion for 28 projects.
Norway was No.4 with 10 billion baht for one project: a joint venture between Norway and Korean companies to manufacture rubber gloves.
Hong Kong was fifth, tallying 6.27 billion baht for 16 projects, while Japan fell to sixth with 4.16 billion for 33 projects.
The remaining investment applications belonged to investors from Taiwan (13 projects worth 3.69 billion baht), the Netherlands (14 projects worth 3.65 billion), the US (nine projects worth 3.28 billion), and Luxembourg (five projects worth 1.73 billion).
Classified by the government's targeted sectors, the digital industry tallied 25 projects worth 160 million baht, while the medical industry had 14 projects worth 13.4 billion, petrochemicals and chemicals had 13 projects worth 5.86 billion, and automation and robotics one project worth 3 million.
The aviation industry contributed one project worth 97 million baht, the bio-economy one project worth 17 million, electrical and electronics 27 projects worth 14.6 billion, automobiles and parts 23 projects worth 7.49 billion, tourism two projects worth 8.17 billion, and farm and food processing 19 projects worth 4.23 billion.
Approved FDI applications by the BoI in the first three months totalled 208 projects, down 25% from 277 projects in the same period last year.
Investment values amounted to 62.5 billion baht, down 11% from 70 billion in the same period last year.
Japan topped the approved FDI applications list with 57 projects worth 14.4 billion baht, followed by 25 projects from China worth 14.2 billion, then four projects from South Korea worth 10.4 billion, one from Norway worth 1 billion, and 18 projects from Hong Kong worth 9.71 billion.