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BOI delays five-year promotion

The Board of Investment (BOI) yesterday decided to postpone indefinitely the launch of Thailand’s new five-year promotion policy from its original schedule of the middle of this year.

Secretary-general Udom Wongwiwatchai said certain issues need a review including zoning criteria and the types of projects that would see investment incentives abolished.

He was speaking after a board meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong.

The new policy will replace zone-based criteria with industry preference _ with the BoI deciding which industries are to be promoted based on the 11th National Economic Development Plan.

“There are some issues that need further discussions with concerned agencies, especially the Finance Ministry. The BoI will cautiously consider the remaining concerns without a time frame,” Mr Udom said.

Meanwhile, the Industry Ministry was assigned by the board to look seriously at which sectors or activities should be added to the value chain and so qualify for investment privileges.

The BoI will also work more closely with the National Economic and Social Development Board and the private sector so that clearer policies can be identified, Mr Udom said.

The board also noted Thai investment abroad should not only focus on cheaper labour wages and raw materials but also be based on integrating and adding value to industries in Thailand.

The BoI yesterday approved 28 large projects worth a combined 129 billion baht including those of major regional players such as Thai Airways International (THAI), AirAsia and Nissan Motor.

The sum includes 14.7 billion baht for Apollo Tyres (Thailand) to produce 6.13 million car tyres per year; 11.28 billion for Mazda Powertrain Manufacturing to produce 410,000 automatic transmission gears per year; 15 billion for Nissan Motor (Thailand) to produce 150,000 pick-up vehicles per year; 20.5 billion for THAI to purchase six airplanes with a capacity of 2,088 passengers and 240 tonnes of products; and 14.4 billion for Thai AirAsia to purchase 24 airplanes that can carry 4,320 people and 24 tonnes.

Within the first two months of this year, 384 projects applied for BoI incentives totalling 134 billion baht.

The number of projects increased by 50% from the same period of last year, but the value fell by 7%, as last year more than 60 billion baht worth of petrochemical projects applied.

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