More manufacturers relocating to Thailand from China, Hong Kong

BANGKOK (The Nation/ANN) - Due to the US-China trade war, an increasing number of manufacturers are moving their production bases from China and Hong Kong to Thailand.

An increasing number of manufacturers are moving their production bases from China and Hong Kong to Thailand due to the US-China trade war, the Board of Investment (BOI) has said.

BOI deputy secretary-general Narit Therdsteerasukdi said recently that investment applications last year from Chinese and Hong Kong investors for BOI tax privileges had reached a 10-year high of 164 projects worth almost Bt60 billion.

He added that the number of such applications continued to increase during the first half of this year, totalling 111 projects worth more than Bt31 billion.

Most of them are in the auto parts, plastics, machinery and furniture businesses.

He added that the production bases of Taiwanese and South Korean companies in China, which export to the US, are also relocating their plants to Asean countries, including Thailand.

Last month, the BOI approved Thailand Plus incentives, aimed at attracting foreign businesses to relocate and expedite large-scale investment as well as strengthen workforce development.

These new measures include an enhanced incentive package for projects worth at least Bt1 billion of investment, additional incentives for companies engaged in human resource development, and revised incentives to encourage corporates to set up STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), or educational or vocational training institutions.

BOI will also launch a roadshow to woo investments from China and Hong Kong next year.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak is visiting Guangdong province in China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from Sunday (October 20) to October 25.

The visit aims to promote relations and strengthen collaboration between Thailand and China.

He is accompanied by executives from the Eastern Economic Corridor Office and BOI.

According to BOI data, the total value of applications received by the BOI from foreign investors more than doubled to Bt147.2 billion in the first half of 2019, as compared to the corresponding period last year.

In terms of the source of the foreign direct investment applications, out of a total of 468 projects, Japanese companies ranked first with applications for 114 projects worth Bt42.45 billion, followed by China, with 81 projects worth 24.28 billion baht, and Switzerland, with 10 projects worth Bt11.44 billion.

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