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    Electronics makers focus on Thailand


    The China Printed Circuit Association (CPCA) aims to make Thailand its new electronic equipment manufacturing base in a move to avoid the impact of the China-US trade war and geopolitical conflicts, says the Board of Investment (BoI).

    “China is seeking new investment and production destinations, following worries over the trade war and increasing tension between China and Taiwan, which are considered business risks,” said Narit Therdsteerasukdi, secretary-general of the BoI.

    “Thailand is attractive to Chinese investors.”

    Chinese businesspeople believe Thailand has the potential to become the electronics hub of Asean because the government is promoting investments in targeted industries, notably electric vehicles and smart electronics, said Mr Narit.

    Representatives of more than 60 companies under the CPCA met the BoI between April 19-22 to discuss investment prospects and incentives in the country.

    Two companies – ASKPCB and WUS Printed Circuit (Kunshan) – are planning to invest in Thailand, with a total investment value of around 12 billion baht, according to the BoI.

    They will also bring 200 suppliers in the electronics supply chain to Thailand.

    At present, the CPCA has 800 members, including manufacturers of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and special electronics equipment, as well as experts from academic and research institutes.

    The electronic and PCB industry in China has a market value of over 1.7 trillion baht and employs up to 620,000 workers.

    The BoI approved 18 investment project proposals in the electronics and PCB industry between 2018 and 2022. The investment value of these projects was 39 billion baht in total.

    During the first quarter of this year, five additional investment projects in the electronics and PCB industry, with a value of 14 billion baht, were endorsed by the BoI.

    Mr Narit said the BoI would continue to encourage more PCB manufacturers to invest in Thailand. The BoI plans to meet 30 PCB companies from Hong Kong in June and 10 PCB companies from Taiwan in July.

    Thailand needs PCBs and electronic equipment as the country is promoting EVs and digital technology.

    In 2021, the National EV Policy Committee said it wanted EVs to constitute 50% of locally made vehicles by 2030, part of a plan to make Thailand a regional EV production centre.

    Last year, the cabinet approved a package of incentives, including tax cuts and subsidies, to promote EV consumption and production between 2022 and 2023.

    According to officials, a plan to build a 5-billion-baht Silicon Tech Park, expected to be a model for Thai digital cities, is set to start this year in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

    The project, dubbed the “Silicon Valley of the East” and co-developed by Planet Communications Asia Plc, Cisco and the EEC Office, is located in an area spanning 500-700 rai in Rayong’s Ban Chang district.

    The BoI is implementing a five-year investment promotion strategy, which starts in 2023, to support investments in high technology, green and smart industries, as well as businesses driven by creativity and innovation.