BANGKOK – Thailand’s investment agency said on Friday it had approved applications for 18 projects worth 89.7 billion baht ($2.74 billion), many of them involving the automobile sector and renewable energy.
The meeting was chaired by junta leader Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha, brought the total approved projects to 458.6 billion baht($14.11 billion) since May 22 military coup.
The projects included investment from Ford Motor to spend about 18.2 billion baht on fuel-efficient cars, or eco-cars, and from General Motors to invest 13.1 billion baht, the board said in a statement.
Nissan Motor will invest 6.9 billion baht, Mitsubishi Motors 12.6 billion baht and Toyota Motor Corp 1.9 billion baht bringing a combined amount of 52.7 billion baht of automotive investments.
“The manufacturers will slightly increase their production. In the first one to two years the production may not be much, but from third year onwards the production will gradually increase,” Udom Wongviwatchai, the Board of Investment’s secretary-general told reporters.
The Thai government is pressing ahead with phase two of a green car programme that offers tax breaks to manufacturers of environmentally-friendly and compact vehicles.
The junta on Wednesday announced a plan to spend 364 billion baht ($11.2 billion) in a bid to revive the economy and help it return to its “normal growth” of 4-5 percent next year. It had promised to accelerate remaining project approvals of around 700 billion baht by the end of the year to create jobs. Friday’s announcement leaves only around 250 billion baht left to be approved. (1 US dollar = 32.5100 Thai baht)