Board of Investment to continue work despite polls

Board of Investment to continue work despite polls

Upcoming election will not affect board

Narit Therdsteerasukdi, secretary-general of the BoI.
Narit Therdsteerasukdi, secretary-general of the BoI.

The Board of Investment's (BoI) ability to approve new investment applications and hold roadshows in foreign countries will remain intact after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha dissolved parliament on Monday.

Narit Therdsteerasukdi, secretary-general of the BoI, said the board already consulted the Council of State and was informed it could carry on its work and approve new investment applications as usual, including holding roadshows in foreign countries.

The BoI plans to hold investment roadshows in China in early April, and shortly after that in South Korea and Europe.

Given lingering concerns about global economic prospects and Thailand's general election potentially affecting the domestic economy and investment climate, Mr Narit said following BoI discussions with the central bank and related economic agencies, the board believes Thai economic fundamentals remain strong and is confident domestic investment can be promoted as planned.

The BoI announced on Monday approval of 56.6 billion baht worth of investment projects that will help strengthen the country's infrastructure, especially in the energy and digital sectors, he said.

Mr Narit said the approved projects include a 32.7-billion-baht investment in a liquified natural gas terminal and 5 billion baht in a cogeneration power plant run by a Thai-Singapore joint venture.

Two data centre projects, representing a combined investment value of 10.4 billion baht, were approved to help address the rapid growth of the digital sector and rising domestic and international demand for large-scale storage and management services.

One of the data centre projects, run by a UK-Singapore joint venture, will use renewable energy to reduce its carbon footprint and ensure environmental sustainability.

The BoI meeting chaired by Gen Prayut also approved other projects worth 8.5 billion baht in combined investment value, including a project for the production of cold-rolled steel for use in the automotive and electrical appliances industries, a gold and silver production project, and an industrial waste treatment facility.

In a related development, Mr Narit said HQ Biz Portal, an integrated service jointly established by the BoI, the Revenue Department, the Business Development Department and the Bank of Thailand, is scheduled to start operations this month.

The HQ Biz Portal is a one-stop service providing a comprehensive list of consultation and facilitation services for companies considering the establishment of international business centres (IBC) or regional headquarters in Thailand, consisting of an online appointment system and information centre.

The service is coordinated by a working group made up of officials from the four agencies.

In the first two months of 2023, the BoI granted investment promotion benefits to four new IBC projects by companies from countries including Norway, Japan and Singapore.

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