BOI survey shows strong investor confidence
Thailand remains top production base
A Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) survey indicates that foreign investors? confidence in Thailand has strengthened substantially since last year, with 50 percent of respondents confirming intentions to expand their investments in the country during 2010-2011. Industrial sectors are gearing up more than Bt131 billion worth of investment expansion projects, which
among other things is boosting the local employment rate.
The BOI, chaired by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, said the value of investment applications submitted for incentives and privileges in the first eight months of 2010 reached nearly Bt270 billion.
Industry Minister Mr. Chaiwuti Bunnawat announced the findings of the BOI?s 2010 Foreign Investors? Confidence Survey. The survey was conducted on existing foreign investors in Thailand from February to July this year. A total of 686 companies responded.
Results show that in comparison to last year?s survey, foreign investors now have higher confidence in every category. This includes business performance, where confidence has surged to 71.9 percent, representing huge growth from 41.5 percent in 2009.
Over 50 percent of investors plan to invest consistently in Thailand during 2010-2011, while 41.5 percent said they have prepared expansions with strong confidence in the Thai government?s investment incentives and supporting policies, and the country?s stable fundamentals and reasonable labor costs.
When comparing six countries around the region, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and China, foreign investors felt that Thailand offered competitive advantages in its strong fundamentals, transportation system, infrastructure, telecommunications and logistics.
According to the survey, 3.7 percent of respondent companies plan to reduce their investment in Thailand due to effects of the global recession and a small local market.
Industry Minister Chaiwuti said: ?Since the survey was conducted over a period that extended past the recent political unrest, the results can be seen as confirmation that political
issues in Thailand do not affect the confidence of investors. Thailand remains a top foreign investment destination with strong economic fundamentals and competiveness.?
He added: ?There were also some investors who requested that the government do away with unnecessary bureaucratic regulation to help facilitate investment. Their recommendations on this will be considered toward a solution.?
Jobs and expansion
Mr. Chaiwut also said the BOI has reported findings on the current employment picture, manufacturing output, and sales from 400 large enterprises with an investment value of at least Bt500 million that have been granted incentives and privileges from the Board. The survey for the month of August 2010, which looked at the permanent and outsourced employees of
enterprises in different industries, showed the average employment rate increasing 9.3% y-o-y.
In the next six months some 209 companies, or 52% of respondents, intend to recruit more employees. These are mostly in the automotive and electronics industries.
Moreover, as many as 97 companies in a variety of industries said they will expand their investment projects. This represents a total investment value of Bt131.53 billion.
BOI Secretary General Dr. Atchaka Sibunruang disclosed that between January and August this year, the Board granted privileges to 949 projects with an investment value totaling Bt269 billion. That marks a robust 46% increase in the number of projects compared with the 652 applications in the same eight-month period of 2009. The investment value increased 12% from Bt240 billion a year earlier.
Most of the projects that applied for BOI privileges in January-August are related to electricity generation using natural gas and alternative energy, automobile parts, and electronic parts.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first eight months this year totaled 527 projects with an investment value of Bt122.15 billion. The number of FDI projects increased 29.5% over the 407 projects during same period of 2009. The investment value rose 43.2% from Bt85.26 billion a year earlier.
Japan remains the No. 1 foreign investor in Thailand, followed by Spain and Singapore.
Source : BOI