Amidst a glut of “Say What?” reports, a “Just the Facts Mam” report from Pattaya Mail on FDI

Pattaya is a major tourism city near the Eastern Seaboard Industrial Zone and Pattaya Mail, a news out-fit, serves the expatriate community in the area, thus it is interesting, to hear what the news agency has to say about “Investments.” Of course, Fascist Suthep is causing havoc to Thailand’s economy, with the UK’s The Economist, giving an estimate of US$15 billion damage done so far. And read the global mainstream news head-line, such as from UK’s Financial Times, or press in Vietnam or Indonesia, they are full of reports that Japanese manufacturing firm in Thailand, are planning to move out of Thailand, to places such as Vietnam and Indonesia. But what is really going on? Can manufacturers just simply pick-up and leave Thailand? Of course, the Thai political crisis, on and off now since the 2006 coup, have caused a great deal of concern, and of course, some manufacturers has opted for Vietnam or Indonesia. But again, what does the global mainstream news not reporting? What is the real problem? And is this problem persists indefinitely?

The following is from Pattaya Mail (Source)

Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) affirmed there have been no signs of foreign investors withdrawing their investments from Thailand.

BOI’s secretary-general Udom Wongviwatchai said the BOI last year attracted investment promotion applications from foreign investors at over Bt500 billion, down from Bt600 billion in 2012.

He said December 2013 saw investment applications of over Bt200 billion from both Thai and foreign investors.

However, around 380 investment projects with investment capital higher than Bt200 million per project have been suspended, as a committee looking over the matter finished its term in October last year, and a new committee has not yet been appointed, as it is not under the caretaker government’s authority to do so.

Japanese investors counted as the highest proportion at 10 per cent of total investment promotion applications.

Mr Udom said investors are awaiting the new committee and projects have not yet been shifted elsewhere, while there has been no clear movement of investments away from Thailand either.

He said the tendency of investment privileges applications this year was originally expeted to reach as high as Bt900 billion. However, due to the ongoing political stalemate, BOI will have to readjust the figure after March.

According to BOI’s secretary-general, investment promotion applications in Jan-Feb reached Bt70 billion, of which Bt40 billion belonged to foreign investors, a drop from Bt100 billion year-on-year.

Motor vehicles, metals, chemicals, services, and electricity production were popular industries for investment applications.

The BOI has approved applications for more than 300 projects of which investment capital is no more than Bt200 million each.


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