BoI hits road to support firms abroad
The Board of Investment (BoI) will launch mobile units next month to support Thai investors doing business in Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam.
The units will advise operators on how to manage business including local laws and regulations related to investments.
Siriporn Nurugsa, director of the BoI's Thai Overseas Investment Promotion Division, said the mobile units represent the first step before the agency sets up permanent offices when there are sufficient investment opportunities.
The BoI aims to promote four industries: automotive, agriculture and agro-industry, textiles and garments, and renewable energy.
It is also targeting countries where Thai businessmen could explore investments. Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore are in its sights after Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam.
The next phase will expand to China, India and emerging markets including Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
According to Bank of Thailand statistics for investments abroad from 2009-13, the industrial sector accounted for the biggest portion at 37% of total investment capital, followed by power at 31% and trading and insurance at 11% each.
Last year Thailand's foreign investments had a value of US$15.84 million.
Ms Siriporn said the volume of investment in the Asean region alone had been growing and prompted the BoI to set up mobile units that could upgrade to offices one day.
The agency has 14 overseas offices around the world including Beijing, Frankfurt, New York and Mumbai.
Expanding investment abroad is in line with the government's policy to promote trade and investment in the region to exploit the launch of the Asean Economic Community at the end of next year.
Ms Siriporn said the government has prepared for regional integration by promoting border investments with neighbouring countries under special economic zones, initially in five provinces that share borders with Myanmar, Laos or Cambodia.
The BoI will lead businessmen to visit Vietnam and Cambodia next week to seek investment opportunities, especially in the agriculture and agro-industry sector.
The agency will also conduct a new round of training courses for investors after its previous two courses produced successful results, with 20% of trainees able to invest abroad.