Thailand, often dubbed the “Detroit of Asia” due to its prolific production of internal combustion engine cars, is embarking on an ambitious journey to establish itself as a global leader in electric vehicles (EVs). The nation’s target is to draw a substantial foreign investment of 1 trillion baht (approximately 28 billion US dollars) within a four-year time frame, signaling its determined pivot towards sustainable and eco-friendly mobility solutions.
To achieve this formidable goal, Thailand has established a dedicated Special Operation Center for Strategic Investment. This center’s primary focus is to attract significant investors to participate in the burgeoning EV sector and other key segments integral to Thailand’s overarching economic strategy. Mr. Narit Terdsteerasak, Secretary-General of the Board of Investment (BOI), emphasized that the primary target for foreign investment in the EV industry is China, specifically, Chinese EV manufacturers.
Under the framework outlined by the BOI, the EV industry, alongside the automotive, electronics, digital, regional headquarters, and environmentally friendly sectors, is classified as one of the “5 strategic industries.” These industries receive the highest priority and support from the Thai government as they contribute significantly to the nation’s economic development.
According to data from fDi Markets, which meticulously tracks investments in green industries, Thailand has already succeeded in attracting substantial investments from various Chinese corporations, including BYD, Great Wall Motors, and SAIC Motors. As the global EV industry experiences rapid growth, Thailand is keen to accelerate its efforts in order to attain its investment objectives. In 2022, a total of over $106 billion was invested in EV projects worldwide, with countries like the United States, Hungary, Mexico, Indonesia, and Germany receiving a significant share of these investments.
The Special Operation Center for Strategic Investment, located in Bangkok, operates tirelessly, nearly 24 hours a day, striving to attract high-potential investors and facilitating high-level governmental meetings. Additionally, the center supports Mr. Settha Thavisin, the Prime Minister, during his important international trips to forge investment deals with major corporations. Notably, following Mr. Settha’s visit to the United States last month, the BOI is actively engaging with influential companies like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon Web Services, encouraging them to either establish a presence or expand their operations in Thailand through new investments.
Thailand’s ambitious endeavor to make its mark in the burgeoning EV industry underlines the nation’s commitment to sustainable growth, technological innovation, and economic development. As it opens its doors to international investors, it aims to become a pivotal player in the electric vehicle landscape, further solidifying its status as a leading automotive hub in Asia and beyond.