Thailand approves $850m in investment for 13 projects

Thailand approves $850m in investment for 13 projects

BANGKOK - Thailand's investment agency said on Thursday it has approved applications for 13 projects worth 21.15 billion baht ($850 million), many involving renewable energy and power plants, as the pace of investment recovers after political turmoil early in the year.

The latest approvals bring this year's total to 766.2 billion baht, from 1 trillion baht in applications, the Board of Investment said. Total applications for the year are forecast to reach 1.3 trillion baht, up from last year's 1 trillion.

The latest batch of approvals includes a 2.91 billion baht investment by Mazda Motor Corp to boost production of fuel-efficient automotive transmissions, Hirunya Suchinai, the board's secretary-general, said in statement after a meeting chaired by junta leader Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha.

The Thai government is pressing ahead with phase two of a green car programme that offers tax breaks to manufacturers of compact and environmentally friendly vehicles.

A Thai unit of Japanese chemical maker Asahi Kasei Corp will also invest 2.03 billion baht to increase production of non-woven fabrics.

The junta on Dec. 15 announced strategies to encourage investment next year, including tax and import duty exemptions on machinery and raw materials in selected industries such as electronic design and aircraft parts.

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