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Thailand’s Industrial Boom: Julapong Thaweesri Reveals Tripling of Factory Licenses

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Imagine stepping into a world where the industrial landscape is not just growing, but booming at a pace that’s hard to fathom. This is the picture painted by Julapong Thaweesri, the director-general of the department, who’s bringing some eye-opening statistics to the table. In the period of 2022-2023, there has been a notable surge in the number of licenses issued for the birthing and bulking up of large-scale factories. Brace yourself – we’re talking about an astonishing 800 factories per year. Yes, you read that right. That’s a threefold increase compared to the 2020-2021 era. But wait, there’s more.

The year 2023 alone witnessed the inception of 2,598 industrial heartbeats across the nation (and we’re not talking about within industrial estates). These new factories are not just buildings of steel and smoke; they’re monumental investments worth 356.14 billion baht. That’s a 23% leap over the previous year, employing over 106,631 souls. The vibe? Industrial growth is not just back on track post-Covid-19; it’s on a sprint.

Feeling impressed? Hold on to your hats because the Board of Investment (BOI) has swayed in with investment promotion applications reaching a colossal 850 billion baht in 2023. That’s the highest in almost a decade. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is particularly strutting its stuff, with an eye-popping 72% growth over the past year. It appears that the industrial sector of Thailand is not just walking; it’s strutting down the growth runway.

As we tiptoe into fiscal 2024, the numbers are not shy either. The investment value from permits for new factories and expansion projects outside industrial estates has already hit 255.59 billion baht. And that’s just in the first quarter! With over 70 billion baht in investments, it’s clear as day that the industrial sector’s appetite is far from being sated.

But what’s fuelling this industrial feast? It seems like the Thai government, led by the Prime Minister, deserves a round of applause. Their tango with leaders from across the globe, coupled with hearty dialogues with the business sector, is setting the stage for investment fireworks. Encouraging investment, building confidence, and tossing engaging business negotiation activities into the mix are bearing fruit. Not to mention, the Ease of Doing Business policy is making sure industrial business in Thailand is as convenient as grabbing your favorite Thai street food.

Amid this industrial soiree, Industry Minister Pimphattra Wichaikul is not just a spectator. She’s advocating for a shift towards digital nirvana. Her mantra? Digitize to optimize. Her directive to roll out the Digital License system is poised to make the lives of business owners a breeze. Imagine getting your licenses with the click of a button, transparency flowing through each step. This digital wave is pushing the industrial sector’s investment barometer up, showing a consistent annual increase of 10-20% in investments in large-scale factories since 2020.

Julapong’s narrative draws to a close with a nod to the continuous influx of applications for factory licenses. With 22 factories currently under the department’s microscope, it’s a teaser for the boundless potential and the flourishing future of the Thai industrial sector. In a nutshell, Thailand’s industrial scene is not just growing; it’s thriving, innovating, and most importantly, inviting. The question is, are you ready to be a part of this industrial renaissance?


  1. Max_77 April 1, 2024

    Isn’t this just a way to mask the environmental impact these factories will have? Sure, economic growth is great, but at what cost?

    • EcoWarrior April 1, 2024

      Exactly my thought! This is catastrophic from an environmental perspective. We’re talking about mass pollution and resource depletion.

      • Max_77 April 1, 2024

        I agree, but is there a way to balance both economic growth and environmental protection? Surely, not all these factories are heavy polluters.

    • julapong_fan April 1, 2024

      You’re missing the point. The article mentioned efforts towards digitization, which could lead to more sustainable practices. Plus, economic growth can fund environmental initiatives.

      • EcoWarrior April 1, 2024

        Digitization is a small part of the equation. Real environmental progress requires renewable energy, waste management, and strict emissions controls. Is Thailand focusing enough on these?

  2. TechGuru April 1, 2024

    I’m impressed by the push towards digitization. It’s the future, and Thailand seems to be riding the wave properly with the digital license system. That’s a smart move!

    • OldSchool April 1, 2024

      Digital sounds good until hackers find a way in. What about cybersecurity concerns? Introducing all this tech could leave them vulnerable.

      • TechGuru April 1, 2024

        Every technological advance comes with risks, but it also comes with solutions. It’s about staying ahead in the game. Thailand knows what it’s doing.

  3. Investor101 April 1, 2024

    This surge in industrial growth could be a golden opportunity for investors. The ROI in the Thai market looks promising.

    • MarketSkeptic April 1, 2024

      Or it’s a bubble waiting to burst. Remember, rapid growth isn’t always sustainable. Caution is key.

      • Investor101 April 1, 2024

        True, but with the government pushing for it and evident success so far, it seems like a calculated risk worth taking.

  4. Lauren April 1, 2024

    Is anyone thinking about the workers? Over 100,000 new jobs sound good, but what about the quality of these jobs? Are they ensuring fair wages and safe conditions?

    • Realist April 1, 2024

      That’s a good point, but in developing economies, industrial growth often drives improvements in labor conditions eventually. It’s a step in the right direction.

      • Lauren April 1, 2024

        I hope you’re right. It’s just that ‘eventually’ can be a long time for those in less-than-ideal working conditions right now.

      • FairWork April 1, 2024

        Exactly, Lauren. Industrial growth should not come at the cost of human rights. The government and companies must prioritize workers’ conditions from the start.

  5. EconBuff April 1, 2024

    Let’s not overlook the significant foreign investment this boom is attracting. It’s a strong indicator of Thailand’s position as an emerging powerhouse in Asia.

    • DoubtingTom April 1, 2024

      But doesn’t heavy reliance on foreign investment risk national sovereignty? What if political tensions cause these investors to pull out abruptly?

      • EconBuff April 1, 2024

        Every investment has its risks, but diversification and solid regulatory frameworks can mitigate those concerns. Thailand’s approach appears robust.

  6. CultureVulture April 1, 2024

    I’m concerned this industrial boom could overshadow and erode Thailand’s rich cultural heritage. Development is essential, but not at the expense of identity.

    • Modernist April 1, 2024

      Development and culture can coexist. Look at Japan and South Korea. They’ve industrialized and still maintained a strong sense of cultural identity.

      • CultureVulture April 1, 2024

        True, but it requires a conscious effort to preserve culture amidst rapid modernization. I just hope Thailand makes that effort.

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