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Thailand’s BOI strengthens energy and digital infrastructure with $1.64 billion investment privileges
Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) has granted investment privileges to projects in the energy and digital sectors worth a combined 56.6 billion baht (US$1.64 billion) to strengthen the country’s infrastructure.
The investment, approved at a meeting held on March 20, coincides with the start of operations of the “HQ Biz Portal”, an integrated service setup in close coordination with Thai regulators to provide swift and convenient support to international companies seeking to setup regional management operations in Thailand. “The projects that have been granted investment privileges today will help strengthen the country’s infrastructure, which is a key factor in attracting more foreign investment,” Mr. Narit Therdsteerasukdi, Secretary General to the BOI, told reporters at a briefing held at Government Houses after the board meeting chaired by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Investment Project Approvals
The approved projects presented by local and foreign investors received a series of tax and non-tax benefits, including a 32.7 billion baht (US$950 million) investment in a liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal project, and a 5 billion baht (US$145 million) investment in a cogeneration power plant project by a Thai-Singapore joint venture.
Two data center projects, representing a combined investment value of 10.4 billion baht (US$303 million), were approved to help address the rapid growth of the digital sector, and the rising domestic and international demand for large-scale storage and management services. One of the projects is by a U.K.-Singapore joint venture, that will use renewable energy to reduce its carbon footprint and ensure environmental sustainability.
The meeting also approved other projects worth 8.5 billion baht (US$247 million) in combined investment value, including an investment in a project for the production of cold rolled steel for use in the automotive and electrical appliances industries, a gold and silver production project, and an industrial waste treatment facility.
Regional Headquarters: HQ Biz Portal Service
The Secretary General announced that the “HQ Biz Portal”, an integrated service setup by the BOI, the Revenue Department, the Department of Business Development, and the Bank of Thailand, started operations last month, following an earlier board approval. The service was setup to further strengthen Thailand’s position as a regional headquarters destination.
The HQ Biz Portal is a one-stop service providing a comprehensive list of consultation and facilitation services for companies considering the establishment in Thailand of international business centers (IBC) or regional headquarters, consisting of an online appointment system and information center. The service is coordinated by a working group comprising officials of the four agencies.
In the first two months of 2023, the BOI has granted investment promotion benefits to four new IBC projects by companies coming from countries including Norway, Japan, and Singapore. The BOI has since the year 2000 already granted investment promotion privileges to more than 500 companies to setup IBC or headquarters in Thailand, including well know companies such as Agoda, Ajinomoto, Toyota, Honda, Nissin Food, Michelin, Harley Davidson, and Huawei Technologies.
Japanese companies rank top in setting up such offices in Thailand, accounting for 40% of the promoted projects, followed by the U.S., Singapore and Hong Kong. The top 3 promoted industries for headquarters are the automotive sector, the machinery and equipment industry, and the electrical appliances and electronics sector.