The Covid-19 pandemic has presented an unpleasant picture for new factory registrations, with a sharp decrease in new factories and facility expansions in the third quarter of 2021, according to the Department of Industrial Works (DIW).
From October 2020 to June 2021, factory expansion projects decreased by 70.23% year-on-year to 209 factories while the number of factory registrations went down by 6.33% year-on-year to 1,894 factories.
New registrants were interested in the food, metal and non-metal businesses.
Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit said many businesses have delayed new investment plans or factory expansion projects since last year when Thailand was hit by the pandemic.
"Considering the registration and expansion project figures, we have seen numbers decrease by 22.8% to 2,103 factories," he said.
"But the investment value increased by 1.54% year-on-year to 294.73 billion baht."
The employment rate in newly registered and expanded factories stood at 90,568, according to DIW.
At least 567 factories or 9.72% of total factories were shut in the the third quarter.
However, DIW director-general Prakob Vivitjinda expects the state's mass inoculation scheme to lead to better factory prospects later this year.
"The government is stepping up efforts to vaccinate people and so are other countries. This will be a positive factor to boost the economy," he said.
Herd immunity is needed in Thailand in order to build confidence among investors.
DIW is also following the government's policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Efforts include urging factories to find substitutes for clinkers in order to reduce production.
A clinker requires the heating of cement at very high temperatures, which leads to high carbon emissions.