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Thailands Investment Boom

|Includes: TF-OLD, iShares MSCI Thailand Capped ETF (THD), TTF

As I have been saying for sometime now I have never seen as much investment coming into Asia as I have seen in the last year. Shortly after the US financial crisis kicked off there was a flood of new companies moving into Asia. Some have come to cut costs, some have come to tap into one of the worlds largest markets and the growth seems endless at this stage.

In Thailand manufacturing and Argi business has lead most of the surge, but now we are seeing more and more new companies opening or expanding operations to Thailand.

Applications for investment privileges to the Board of Investment (BoI) in 2009 totaled 723.40 billion baht, the highest figure since the investment promotion agency was established.

“This shows that Thai and foreign investors still have strong confidence in the country’s economic fundamentals, despsite the Map Ta Phut impasse,” BoI secretary-general Atchaka Sibunruang Brimble said on Tuesday.

The strong demand for investing in Thailand last year was unprecedented, especially as the country  is still  recovering from the global financial crisis, Mrs Atchaka added.

The combined amount of investment applications was higher than the set target of 400 billion baht by about 80 per cent.

She attributed the success to the BoI’s investment promotion measures under the “2009: Year of Investment” policy.

Most investors wanted into the services and utility industries, particularly in renewable energy production projects, having altogether 709 applications with a combined worth of 430.80 billion baht. These projects included electricity production by wind, solar and natural gas. The growing use of Solar in Thailand prompted us at Ebeling Heffernan to acquire our own Solar Equipment manufacturer and in 2010 we will be producing silicon.

Electronics and electrical appliances were second with a total value of 100.90 billion baht and 219 projects. Most of them were for the production of hard-disk drives, integrated circuits, parts for digital cameras, electronic parts for vehicles and refrigerators and airconditioners. O

Third was agriculture and agricultural products, with 212 applications and a combined worth of 66.80 billion baht. Investors were interested in producing alternative energy such as ethanol and bio-diesel and in the production of finished and processed foods.

Automobile and auto-parts industries took the fourth rank, having 217 applications with a combined worth of 55.50 billion baht.

There were 106 applications each worth more than one billion baht. These projects had a combined worth of 460.30 billion baht.

Shayne Heffernan

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Disclosure: Invested in Thailand