Thai govt roadshow attracts investment from line-up of Korea's top companies & SMEs: electronics, electrical appliances, even solar power & electricity from garbage.
South Korean investors are determined to pour at least 12 billion baht into Thailand over the next two years.
Investments will be for both new and expansion projects in the electronics, electrical appliances, metal parts and agro-processing sectors.
Industry Minister M.R. Pongsvas Svasti said DAS Tech Co, a manufacturer of solar cell panels, is seeking Board of Investment (BoI) approval for an expansion project..
Another project comes from Daerim, a partner of Hyundai Heavy Industry, to generate power from garbage with an investment of 1 billion baht. That project has already won BoI privileges, and the factory may be located in Phetchaburi province.
Daerim will sell power to the government and plans a second factory in Chanthaburi province.
Samsung Electronics Co wants to expand refrigerator production to 3 million units, up by 50%, and will spend 3 billion baht to raise capacity.
Samsung's total investment in Thailand is 8.65 billion baht. In Thailand, it makes electrical home appliances, refrigerators, TV sets, microwave ovens, dishwashers, washing machines and air-conditioners.
LG Electronics Co wants to expand its air-conditioner manufacturing facility with a 1-billion-baht package.
Previously, LG invested 2.9 billion to produce TVs, air-conditioners, washing machines, air compressors and microwave ovens.
New projects include Moca Mold Co, which plans to invest 200-300 million baht to manufacture moulds, and Samwoo Co, which will make automatic machines.
Last year, South Korean investors asked for BoI privileges for 39 projects worth 7.7 billion baht. It approved 35 projects worth 7.02 billion
M.R. Pongsvas told Korean investors at a seminar he expects the Thai economy will grow by 5.5% to 6.5% this year due to government restoration and flood prevention projects, with exports gaining 19%.
The seminar was part of the Thai government roadshow that runs to tomorrow, headed by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
Some 520 Korean investors attended, and investment applications numbered 700.
M.R. Pongsvas said the Thai government wants to attract more investment in new technology, renewable energy and environmentally related industries.
Ms Yingluck assured investors that flooding similar to last year will not happen again, as the government has already established a single-command committee with an early-warning disaster system and long-term water management plan.
Pailin Chuchottaworn, the president of PTT Plc, said his company plans to establish a joint venture in the oil and petrochemical industry, as South Korea uses advanced technology despite importing all of its energy.
PTT has exported petrochemical products to the country for a long time
Pichit Dejneeranat, the BoI's Seoul director, said Korean investors know little about the investment climate in Thailand and were quite surprised about the development of Thai industry.
The Seoul office opened three years ago, and cumulative investment has totalled 17.3 billion baht.
The BoI initiated a programme to attract high-tech factories to Thailand. Medium and small-scale industries with 200-300 million baht to invest have also shown interest in Thailand.
Cho Kang-von, president of the Korean-Thai Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok, said South Korean investors are quite concerned about next Sunday's increase in the daily minimum wage but are unlikely to relocate their factories to other countries.
"It would be better if the minimum wage gradually increased. But when the government implements a policy investors need to accept it. I think other foreign investors are as worried about this as Korean investors," he said.
(Source: Bangkok Post)