Monday, October 27, 2008

Thailand's Board of Investment has new plans

BoI plans new incentives

VICHAYA PITSUWAN

The Board of Investment is preparing a new incentive package and revamping its organisation to stimulate more investments as it foresees a tough year ahead, said secretary-general Atchaka Sribunruang Brimble.

"The BoI's privileges are still inferior when compared to neighbouring countries' investment attraction efforts. Therefore, we plan to improve incentives for research and development and tourism industries, which should help their growth," she said.

Some legal regulations will be altered to improve the agency's effectiveness in serving investors. It also plans to improve communications with potential investors, maximising their access to information.

The expansion of offices overseas is part of improving information accessibility, with Taipei and Sydney units to open by year-end and Beijing, Seoul and Stockholm units to open next year.

Mrs Atchaka also vows to better serve small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The BoI has set up an SME working committee to create links between small parts suppliers and large manufacturers. Also, 47 million baht has been allocated to facilitate SME growth.

"Next year should be a tough year. We have to position Thailand as a better investment destination than our competitors," Mrs Atchaka said.

While new investors will be targeted, the BoI is hopeful that expansion by existing investors will help it endure the global investment slump next year.

The BoI aims for 650 billion baht in projects seeking privileges next year. It plans to approve all 383 remaining proposals this year worth 270 billion baht.

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