Foreign investment tallied 65.8 billion baht for the first eight months of this year, with Japan still topping the list in terms of spending to develop businesses in Thailand.
Japan's investment value amounted to 22 billion baht for the period, followed by Singapore at 14 billion, China 11.9 billion, Hong Kong 5.35 billion, and the US 3.07 billion.
Thosapone Dansuputra, director-general of the Business Development Department, said the Foreign Business Committee granted permission under the Foreign Business Act to 435 investment applications for the first eight months this year, up 14% year-on-year.
However, the investment value dropped 21% from the same period in 2022.
These investments led to the employment of 4,491 Thai workers, an increase of 19% year-on-year.
The top five foreign investors in terms of investment applications were Japan (99 applications), Singapore (72), the US (71), China (31), and Hong Kong (19).
Mr Thosapone said the majority of businesses granted licences in the first seven months align with the country's infrastructure development or investment promotion policies aimed at enhancing the country's competitiveness.
These businesses include petroleum drilling services within surveyed areas in the Gulf of Thailand; maintenance and repair services for offshore petroleum wells; design, procurement, installation, improvement, development, testing, integration and operation management services for electric railway projects; construction, installation and testing services related to natural gas pipelines and gas control stations, as well as various facilities for onshore natural gas transmission systems; and enterprise software services and digital content as well as international business centres that provide services to affiliated businesses of foreign enterprises.
He said foreign investments also allow direct transfer of specialised technological knowledge from investing countries to Thailand. Examples include expertise in controlling pressure in petroleum drilling wells, basic techniques for cement injection in drilling platform wells, procedures for underground excavation for mass transit systems, electrical and electronic system design in railway projects, electricity generation from wind, and methods for solving problems related to aircraft tyre usage.
Mr Thosapone said during the first eight months of the year, 86 foreign investors expressed an interest in investments in the government's flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), accounting for 20% of the total number of foreign investors.
The value of investment in the EEC was 14.3 billion baht, 22% of the total investment value.
Among foreign investors in the EEC, 37 are from Japan investing 6.21 billion baht; 13 are from China investing 1.05 billion; and six are from Hong Kong spending 4.04 billion.
The remaining 30 investors are from other countries with a combined investment value of 2.96 billion baht.
The businesses these foreigners invested in are mainly consulting services for management of various industrial processes; engineering and technical services; contracted manufacturing services for machinery and industrial components; and contracted manufacturing services for automotive components.