BoI privileges under scrutiny

BoI privileges under scrutiny

The business sector wants the Board of Investment (BoI) to revise its investment promotion strategy to help attract more foreign investment, says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

The present privileges, launched early this year after 30 years under the previous scheme, is unlikely to attract much investment, vice-chairman Chen Namchaisiri said.

"They're too complicated and hardly conducive to new investment at a time of global economic slowdown," he said.

The new strategy focuses on high-technology investments that will help to improve Thai industry and add value to products as well as generate innovations.

"But huge capital investment would be required, something that hardly applies to the current economic situation," Mr Chen said.

However, he said the FTI did not want the government to switch back to the previous scheme, under which privileges were granted based on different zones under which industries were classified.

"We want to propose the government rejig the privileges only in some sections to make them more suitable for the current situation," Mr Chen said, adding that this would help to facilitate more investment.

The FTI will make the suggestion to Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak in October, he said, adding that tweaking investment promotions would help to boost confidence among Thai and foreign investors alike.

Chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree said the FTI would also ask the government to seek ways of cutting the country's reliance on exports.

He wants exports to account for 50% of GDP, down from 70% now, in order to make economic growth more sustainable.

"The government should invest more in infrastructure and support tourism rather than rely too much on exports," Mr Supant said.

He also wants the government to move forward with plans for the digital economy by building infrastructure that would facilitate the new era of 4G communications.

That would help to drive the economy more quickly and at a cheaper cost, Mr Supant added.

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