BoI urges expansion in emerging markets

Mr Chokedee singled out five new markets for foreign investment.

The Board of Investment (BoI) has encouraged Thai companies to start investing in other emerging markets to capitalise on special privileges as some countries have opened to foreign investment without many competitors.

Chokedee Kaewsang, deputy secretary-general of the BoI, said there were several interesting emerging markets that have opened for foreign investment, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Ethiopia, India, South Africa and Tanzania.

“We should not overlook those five countries as their economies have strong potential with lower production costs, particularly labour costs,” said Mr Chokedee.

He said those countries also offered several investment privileges to attract foreign investors.

However, there are risks to foreign investment and investors should gather plenty of information before entering a new emerging market, said Mr Chokedee.

The BoI held a seminar yesterday to provide information to Thai investors who were interested in investing in those five countries.

“We have even more information that can be provided to investors at the BoI office,” he said.

Orasa Paiboon, head of the Overseas Investment Promotion Division, said the BoI has in-depth information on 25 new emerging markets across the world available to Thai investors.

Ms Orasa said the UAE is a country with strong purchasing power as consumers earn income from its oil and petrol reserves. The UAE has very liberal foreign investment incentives, she said.

Ethiopia is also interesting as an African country whose economy tends to grow rapidly, said Ms Orasa. The World Bank forecast its GDP to grow by 8.3% this year.

India has over 1 billion consumers and increasing purchasing power in line with the growing economy.

South Africa has fertile soil, which could be suitable for Thai agriculture-related businesses looking to expand, she said. The country welcomes investment in agriculture, fisheries and industry sectors.

Tanzania could be an attractive destination as it is open to agriculture and farm processing businesses from Thailand, said Ms Orasa.

“The BoI brings together experts from several organisations to provide more details about those emerging markets. All the information is gathered at the BoI office and is provided to Thai investors,” she said.

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