by Stephen Frost, Bangkok International Associates
Introduction: In our article a month ago, we summarized the changes intended to be implemented under the Board of Investment’s draft strategic development plan for the next five years. The changes proposed included a significant reduction in the categories of business eligible for promotion, abolition of zoning in favour of clustering, and outline proposals for outbound investment promotion. These were all discussed in greater detail in our previous article.
On 14 March 2013, the BOI announced that the launch of the five-year strategic plan had been postponed indefinitely, citing the need for further consultation with relevant government agencies.
Comment: The previous proposals were wide ranging in nature, and were presented as part of Thailand’s desire to encourage inbound investment in high-tech and ‘green’ manufacturing, but coupled with abolition of eligibility for promotion of many categories of manufacturing deemed no longer to be environmentally acceptable.
In our opinion, the withdrawal of the proposals for further discussions to take place is welcome, and one hopes that the Government will also seek the views of stakeholders, particularly Thai and foreign manufacturers, and the chambers of commerce and embassies that represent them.
© 2013 Stephen Frost, Bangkok International Associates