Japan Remains Top As Foreign Investment in Thailand Exceeds $1.9B

BANGKOK — The Ministry of Commerce announced that foreign investment in Thailand has surpassed the 70 billion baht (1.9 billion USD) mark in the first five months of this year, an increase of 58 percent, with Japan remaining the largest investor.

Ms. Oramon Sapthaweetham, Director-General of the Department of Enterprise Development at the Ministry of Commerce, said on June 23 that in the first five months (January-May) of 2024, 317 foreign companies received approval to invest in businesses in Thailand under the Foreign Business Act of 1999. The total investment amounted to 71.702 billion baht and created 1,212 jobs for Thai citizens.

Compared to the same period last year, the number of foreign investors rose from 273 to 317, an increase of 16 percent, while the value of investments rose from 45.392 billion baht (1.2 billion USD) to 71.702 billion baht, an increase of 26.310 billion baht (718 million USD) or 58 percent. However, the number of jobs for Thai citizens fell by 1,787, a decrease of 60 percent.

The top five countries investing in Thailand are:
1. Japan, with 84 investors and a total investment of 40.214 billion baht (1.1 billion USD).
2. Singapore, with 51 investors and an investment of 5.189 billion baht (141 million USD).
3. The United States, with 50 investors and an investment of 1.196 billion baht (32.6 million USD).
4. China, with 38 investors and an investment of 5.485 billion baht (149 million USD).
5. Hong Kong, with 28 investors and an investment of 12.048 billion baht (329 million USD).


Oramon explained that in the first five months of 2024, 99 foreign investors have shown interest in investing in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), accounting for 31 percent of all foreign investors in Thailand. This is an increase of 106 percent compared to the same period last year, when 48 investors invested in the EEC.

Srettha kishida 2
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin meets Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio at The Imperial Tokyo hotel, where they attend the 29th Nikkei Forum Future of Asia on May 23, 2024.

The total investment in the EEC area amounts to 18.224 billion baht (497 million USD), representing 25 percent of the total foreign investment. This is an increase of 8.782 billion baht or 93 percent from the previous year’s investment of 9.442 billion baht.


Most investors are from Japan (31 investors, 3.523 billion baht), followed by China (19 investors, 1.803 billion baht), Hong Kong (11 investors, 5.005 billion baht), and other countries (38 investors, 7.893 billion baht).

Foreign investments are primarily in:
1. Engineering services, including designing industrial systems such as electrical, cooling, and air conditioning systems.
2. Design services for automotive parts such as seat belts and airbags.
3. Application services for connecting to credit and debit card payment systems of financial service providers.
4. Contract manufacturing services (vehicle gear sets and components, plastic parts for electronic devices, metal parts, etc.).
5. Software development services for sale and/or provision, such as manufacturing control systems and warehouse management systems.