SET-listed WHA Corporation, the country's largest developer of built-to-suit logistics facilities, expects Thailand to draw more US tech companies to invest in the country next year as they are interested in seeking business opportunities in Asean.
WHA met companies, including Google, Microsoft and Tesla, during an investment talk as part of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin's recent trip to join the 78th UN General Assembly in New York from Sept 18-24.
"WHA is confident Thailand will see more investments from these companies as they want to expand their businesses in Asean," said WHA's Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, group chief executive of WHA and chairman of the company's executive committee.
The firms want to know whether Thailand has a sufficient renewable power supply to serve foreign investments as they support the carbon neutrality campaign, a balance between carbon dioxide emissions and absorption, in order to fight global warming.
"WHA has developed renewable power facilities, including solar and wind power, at its industrial estates," said Ms Jareeporn.
"Their power generation capacity is 192 megawatts. We set a target to increase the capacity to 300MW."
WHA also plans to invest in a green hydrogen project in the next five years, hoping it will become a new alternative clean fuel for investors.
The company is benefitting from the relocation of foreign firms' production facilities into Asean. This caused the company to revise up its industrial land sales target in Thailand and Vietnam to 2,750 rai this year, up from 1,750 rai, said Natthapatt Tanboon-ek, the firm's chief financial officer.
During the first half of 2023, WHA posted total revenue, which includes the share of profit, of 5.6 billion baht, a 27% increase from the corresponding period last year.
Its net profit soared by 46% year-on-year to 1.39 billion baht.
According to Ms Jareeporn, the company signed new land purchase deals with a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer and a US company. She declined to provide the names of the companies.
WHA is allocating 68.5 billion baht under its five-year investment budget, starting in 2022, for its businesses, said Mr Natthapatt.
"We will spend around 13 billion baht this year and increase the amount to 14 billion baht in 2024. Most of the budget will go to industrial estate development in Thailand and Vietnam," he said.
The company wants to develop more industrial land to serve the expansion of the Chinese EV manufacturing.