Thailand's investment pledges more than double in H1 -BOI

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's investment applications in the first half of this year rose 158% from a year earlier to 386 billion baht ($11.5 billion), led by the electronics and medical sectors, the country's investment agency said on Monday.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) projects had a combined application value of 279 billion baht in the January-June period, up almost four-fold from a year earlier, the Board of Investment (BOI) said in a statement.

Japan, the United States and China were the top three source countries of FDI applications, it said.

"We feel encouraged by the fact that so many foreign investors, including many new ones chose to invest in Thailand at a time when the global investment environment remains challenging due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," said BOI head Duangjai Asawachintachit.

"That demonstrates investors’ confidence in Thailand’s strengths in key industries, such as electronics, medical supplies and biotech," she said.

In the first half of 2021, the electrical and electronics sector attracted the most investment with 61 billion baht of projects, up 136% year-on-year. The medical sector came in second with projects worth 43 billion baht, more than triple that of a year earlier.

Last year, combined domestic and FDI pledges dropped 30% to 481 billion baht, with FDI applications down 54% to 213 billion baht as firms were put off by the pandemic.

($1 = 33.44 baht)

(Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Ed Davies)

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