Investment set to hit B600bn by year-end

Investment set to hit B600bn by year-end

Tally close to value achieved in 2019

Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow
Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow

The government is feeling upbeat about this year's investment prospects, projecting applications filed through the Board of Investment (BoI) reaching 600 billion baht by the year-end, which is close to the value achieved in 2019.

Speaking at a seminar entitled "Boost Up Thailand 2022", Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said despite persistent Covid-19 infections in the country, the value of Thailand's investment applications remains intact.

He said the total value of investment applications filed by both local and overseas investors to the BoI in the first nine months of this year amounted to 520 billion baht, more than double the 217 billion worth of applications filed during the same period last year.

The applications stood at 756 billion baht in 2019 and 481 billion baht in 2020.

According to the BoI, in terms of the number of projects, the first nine months saw 1,273 project applications, up from 1,037 year-on-year.

There were 1,623 project applications for the whole of 2020.

The 12 targeted sectors represented a total of 605 applications, with a combined investment value of 270 billion baht, more than the 533 applications with a value of 127 billion in the same period the year before.

"The government believes the value of investment applications filed to the BoI will keep rising next year and play a key part in driving economic growth in the year to come," he said.

He added that the government has done a lot to improve investment policies aimed to draw new investment next year both in the old or first S-curve industries (electrical appliances and electronics; automotive and parts; petrochemical and chemicals; tourism; and agriculture and food processing) and new S-curve industries (robotics; aviation and logistics; digital; biofuels and biochemicals; and medical services).

Mr Supattanapong said many investment projects in clean energy including renewable energy such as solar power are scheduled to be implemented next year.

"Clean energy will play a key role in luring foreign investment to Thailand on electrical vehicles [EVs] next year," he said. "The government itself is about to announce new policies and incentives next month to promote domestic EVs."

Mr Supattanapong said he also believed the government's plans for wealthy foreigners and highly-skilled professionals from overseas to work in Thailand will help generate income next year.

Other key factors that will support economic growth next year also include the government's continued investment in infrastructure projects and recovering export and tourism sectors, he said.

Given such positive factors, Mr Supattanapong predicted that the economy in 2022 is likely to grow by 5-6%. However, he noted the projection is based on the assumption there will be no new Covid-19 outbreaks.

"The Thai economy has an opportunity to grow by 5-6% next year now that the government has already laid down over the past several years an ecosystem covering infrastructure development, investment in clean energy, EV promotion, investment in research and development and underlined collaboration between the government and private sector to boost the country's economic growth," Mr Supattanapong added.

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