Thailand BOI Reports Surge in 2023 Investment Applications

The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has disclosed that investment applications for 2023 skyrocketed to a five-year peak of $24 billion, marking a remarkable 43% surge from the previous year. This surge was primarily propelled by substantial foreign investments in the five priority sectors outlined in the BOI’s new Investment Promotion Strategy.

Mr. Narit Therdsteerasukdi, Secretary General of the BOI, emphasised the country’s attractiveness to investors, attributing the surge to Thailand’s potential, readiness, and proactive investment promotion measures. He noted that aggressive promotion efforts, including investment roadshows led by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have significantly bolstered investor confidence.

The surge in investment applications reflects growing confidence in Thailand’s economic stability and resilience. It is anticipated that the Thai economy will continue to expand in 2024, buoyed by robust exports and tourism revenue, with further growth expected in investments, particularly in priority sectors.

In a significant move, the BOI approved four investment promotion applications valued at a total of $848 million. These projects include two data centres, the production of steel wire for the tyre industry, and the production of steam for industrial use.

Key Highlights

Investment Pledges: The total number of investment promotion applications surged by 16% in 2023, with 2,307 projects valued at $24 billion, marking a 43% increase from 2022. The majority of these applications were for large-scale projects, particularly from overseas investors.

Priority Sectors: The BOI’s new Investment Promotion Strategy focused on five priority sectors, including BCG (Bio-Circular-Green), electric vehicles (EV), smart electronics, digital, and creative industries. These sectors attracted 759 applications, representing $14 billion in investment and accounting for 58% of total pledges.

FDI Applications: Foreign investors filed 1,394 applications for investment promotion in 2023, marking a 38% increase from the previous year. Total FDI reached $18.9 billion, driven by significant investments in large projects. Notably, investments from China, Singapore, the US, Japan, and Taiwan were prominent.

Regional Distribution: The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), comprising Chonburi, Rayong, and Chachoengsao provinces, led regional investment with $13.1 billion, followed by the central region with $7.4 billion.

Project Approvals: The BOI approved several significant projects, including data centres and investments in the automotive and energy sectors, further enhancing Thailand’s industrial capacity and supply chain.

The surge in investment applications underscores Thailand’s growing appeal as a preferred investment destination, driven by a conducive business environment and proactive investment promotion initiatives.