BoI expects proposals to hit B500bn target
Move in pipeline to improve incentives
The Board of Investment (BoI) anticipates that the value of investment project proposals under its tax privilege programme, especially in such high-tech industries as electronics, will reach a 500-billion-baht target this year despite the volatile Covid-19 situation.
While posing a challenge to the global investment environment, the pandemic has also sped up digital industry development, increasing demand for semiconductors, a key component of computers, electric vehicles and smart phones.
BoI is confident its 2021 target is attainable as electronics, medical equipment and renewable energy industries continue to grow in line with the global trend.
BoI's plan to make its tax incentive programme more attractive to investors will also boost investment in Thailand.
"We will ask the BoI board to approve tax privilege upgrades as soon as possible," said Chanin Khaochan, deputy secretary-general of the BoI.
The BoI is in talks with foreign investors from 10 companies, mostly from Japan and China, following their interest in expanding investment in electronic products, including semiconductors.
The investors want to increase semiconductor production capacity in Asean.
"They are large-sized companies each of which plans investment worth more than 1 billion baht, so Thailand expects to see a total of around 10 billion baht of investment from this group," said Mr Chanin.
From January to June this year, local and foreign investors submitted 801 investment applications worth 386 billion baht to the BoI, up from 704 applications worth 150 billion in the same period last year.
The 17% increase in project numbers and 158% rise in investment value were driven by foreign direct investment proposals and growth in electronics, medical and power generation sectors.
BoI expects the investment value may reach 700 billion baht in the next two years, depending on the pandemic and global economy.
"We are positive about the 700-billion-baht investment booster, similar to that in 2019," said Mr Chanin.
BoI is also discussing with Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Gistda) a plan for aerospace and satellite investment projects to make Thailand a production hub of this industry in the future.
Development of satellites at orbital altitude of 200 kilometres is now drawing huge interest in the industry. Thailand, a key production base of electronics, can seek a new investment opportunity to add more value to its technological development.
"BoI and Gistda are considering the promotion of satellite development as a new industry. Satellite investment will be tabled in the BoI board meeting, too," said Mr Chanin.