Thailand's board of investment greenlights medical, biotechnological projects

BANGKOK, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's Board of Investment (BoI) had announced on Wednesday its approval for the 56.4 billion baht (1.86 billion U.S. dollars) worth of new medical and biotechnological investment projects to go ahead.

The move was part of Thailand's government policy to promote quality healthcare as well as to make Thailand a medical industry hub in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a BoI press release said.

Up to 209 projects were granted tax privileges between 2018 and September 2020. Most of them, 129 projects were valued at 30.8 billion baht (1.018 billion U.S. dollars), are related to medical businesses, the release said.

Also, 51 projects, worth 25.4 billion baht (840 million U.S. dollars) came from the biotechnology sector, followed by 26 scientific laboratory projects, worth 1.9 billion baht (62.87 million U.S. dollars).

The COVID-19 outbreak has also sped up medical investments in Thailand, said BoI secretary-general Duangjai Asawachintachit, adding that enhancing the medical industry is part of the 12 targeted S-curve industries.

"The medical industry continues to expand due to growing demand for medical equipment and medicines in the global market," said Duangjai.

From January to September this year, most applicants for tax incentive programmes were in the medical industry, with 65 projects, valued at 14.7 billion baht (487 million U.S. dollars), submitted to the BoI, the report said.

They were followed by 13 biotechnology projects worth 7.8 billion baht (259 million U.S. dollars) and seven scientific laboratory projects worth 351 million baht (11.6 million U.S. dollars).

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