U.S News & World Report has revealed the ranking of the Best Countries to Start a Business in 2020, with Thailand being ranked in first place out of 73 countries. Additionally, Thailand also has the readiness to help and support industries in various ways through the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (I-EA-T). The I-EA-T has many suitable locations for factory establishment located across the country to meet the need for investment in all types of industrial factories.
Thailand has 6 new industrial estates which can fulfill 6 requirements of investment under the support of the I-EA-T as follows:
1. Sa Kaeo Industrial Estate, located in one of the Eastern border provinces, shares a border with Poipet (Cambodia). It is suitable for food and agricultural product processing industries, textile and apparel, gems and jewellery, automobile, electronics, plastics, logistics and distribution service centres.
Sa Kaeo Industrial Estate is located in a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and therefore can offer investment privileges. Furthermore, it is a strategic transport location and a gateway to ASEAN. Sa Kaeo Industrial Estate is close to the port, airport and border gate. Being located in an economic corridor, it is a product distribution point to Cambodia and Vietnam before shipping them to other countries. Additionally, the industrial estate is surrounded by a logistics system including Laem Chabang Port, Suvarnabhumi airport and the border gate with Cambodia.
2. Songkhla Industrial Estate, located in Sadao Special Economic Development Zone (Songkhla province in Southern Thailand) is great for agricultural product industries, logistics, car parts, machinery, electrical appliances, electronic components, cables and light industries.
It is also located in a Special Economic Zone and a strategic location for logistics connecting with the neighbouring country in the South – Malaysia. Furthermore, it is close to Songkhla Deep-sea port, Penang port and Port Klang in Malaysia, and Hat Yai airport, making it suitable for businesses that import from and export to Malaysia.
3. Rubber City Industrial Estate project, located in Southern Region Industrial Estate (Songkhla province) is best for industries such as rubber innovation, rubber compound, and supporting industries, including shipping services and rubber packaging.
This industrial estate was established to respond to the government’s increasing policy of using rubber in the industrial sector by supporting the use of latex from farmers in the area and across the country. This aims to raise the value of Thai rubber. The strategic locations including the border with Malaysia, Songkhla Deep-sea port, Hat Yai train station and Hat Yai airport are located nearby.
4. Smart Park Industrial Estate project, located in Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate (Rayong province, Eastern Thailand), is best for the New S-Curve industries including robotics, aviation & logistics, and digital and medical hubs. It is also located in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and can link with the largest source of raw plastic material in Map Ta Phut. Additionally, it is near U-Tapao airport, which will be linked to the industrial estate.
5. Map Ta Phut Industrial Port – Phase 3 is suitable for the Liquefied Natural Gas industry and liquid products for the petrochemical industry. The goal is to increase the amount of natural gas and liquid products for the petrochemical industry by 19 million tonnes per year in the next 20 years. It is expected to be opened in May 2025 and is considered to be a part of the EEC development project.
6. Phichit Industrial Estate, located in Phichit province (Lower Northern Thailand) can be seen as a gateway to China and other Asian countries from Thailand. It is best for the targeted industries for investment including renewable energy, agro-processing industry, logistics, agricultural equipment and machinery, automotive, textile, stitching of real leather and synthetic leather, jewellery, electrical and the electronics industry, and industries that require a large labour force, such as sports equipment, stationery, furniture and children’s toys.
In addition to the outstanding features of the 6 industrial estate projects above, which are suitable for factory establishment, investors can be certain that they will be supported and taken care of by the Thai government through the I-EA-T. For example, tax incentives are provided to attract foreign investors and special privileges are provided for eligible businesses, especially in different special economic zones including EEC and SEZ.
As for infrastructure and productivity per worker, the World Bank ranked Thailand second amongst major competitors in the region such as Vietnam, Philipines and Indonesia, with scores close to Malaysia, which is ranked first.
Regarding ranking on the ease of doing business, the World Bank has announced the result of its survey through the ‘Doing Business 2020’ ranking, which shows that Thailand is in the Top 25 of the world out of 190 countries.
These are the reasons why investors are recommended to invest in setting up factories to do business in the Thai industrial sector. Thailand has high potential in many aspects and is suitable for investment with the help and support of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (I-EA-T).