Thailand’s investment pledges slump in H1 as foreign projects wane
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Investment applications in Thailand dropped by 42% in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period last year, official data showed on Wednesday, led by a sharp fall in foreign projects as the global economy slowed.
Foreign investments, which made up 60% of the overall 220 billion baht ($6.22 billion) of applications in January-June, more than halved year-on-year, data from the Board of Investment (BOI) showed.
But a surge in electric vehicle (EV) and digital investments bucked the trend, and the BOI said on Wednesday it had approved several new major investment pledges.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our policies and incentives to ensure Thailand remains the resilient destination of choice for global investors in fast growing sectors such as electric vehicles,” BOI said in a statement.
The Southeast Asian country has promoted high-tech sectors and supported EVs to maintain its status as a regional auto production base.
In January-June, investment pledges in EVs surged 212% from a year earlier to 42.4 billion baht while ones in the digital sector jumped 202% to 1.45 billion baht, the BOI said.
On Wednesday, the BOI approved investment pledges worth 44.5 billion baht – including China’s BYD’s 17.9 billion baht project to produce EVs, and PTT’s 18 billion baht gas production project, the agency said.
($1 = 35.38 baht)
(Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon, Satawasin Staporncharnchai and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by John Geddie)