Dear Partners, Colleagues and Friends,

As we enter the third quarter of what has proven to be one of the most challenging years in recent history, I hope this note finds you all in good health and back on the road to prosperity.

As you know, my team and I are based in New York, so we have been at the epicenter of North Americaย’s fight against COVID. It has been a turbulent start to a decade that we had anticipated would be full of promise and opportunity for people around the world.

The events of the past few months have made us all thankful for what we have and the comforts we enjoy.

To update you all on how Thailand is faring during this crisis, our country is emerging from the COVID emergency well, with a comparatively minimal loss of life. I am happy to tell you that the Global COVID Index, ranked Thailand 2nd out of 184 countries, for response and recovery from the virus. I am also pleased to report that the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) and Chulalongkorn Universityย’s National Primate Research Center of Thailand, have successfully tested a COVID vaccine on primates. Clinical trials will begin in October, and projections to begin producing a vaccine in mid-2021.

As of June 30, Thailand has 36 days without community transmission in the country.

In this edition of our newsletter, we have included some information about the lifting of COVID-related travel bans and an important message from U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, Michael George DeSombre.

Like all things, we endeavor to take some positives away from our challenging experiences. From the recent protests, we see a new urgency in creating dialogue and understanding. From COVID, we have seen global cooperation on the fight against the virus and on the development of vaccines. We have seen improved air quality and a renewed interest in sustaining the air quality gains we have made during the global shutdown.

In the spirit of supporting these points of positivity, we are dedicating this edition of our newsletter to COVID recovery with news about innovation in the fight against the pandemic and efforts to restore global health. We also want to acknowledge Thailandย’s commitment to improving air quality with news and information about electric vehicles, and the role Thailand is playing in these endeavors, which is outlined in the news articles we have included below.

On behalf of myself and the team here at the BOI office in New York, we hope to be able to visit with you in person soon. In the meantime, we wish you good health.

Best regards,

Vorawan Norasucha
Director, New York
Thailand Board of Investment




Safe, Reliable, Secure and Cost-Effective Supply Chains Belong in Thailand

Op-Ed By U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Michael George DeSombre

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Starting July 1, Thailand Lifts COVID Ban on 11 Categories of Visitors

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European Union Lifts Ban on Visitors from Thailand

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Thailand Ranks 2nd in the World for COVID Recovery ย– Global COVID Index

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Thailand Offers Tax Perks to Spur Pharma Investments

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Thailand Works to Produce COVID Vaccine That is Inexpensive and Accessible to All

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Thailand aims to start COVID-19 vaccine human trials in October

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Thailandย’s EV Industry ย– ASEAN Demand Grows

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High Voltage – Thailand Positions its Automotive Industry for an EV Future

Dennis Meseroll ย– Executive Director
Tractus Asia

The era of electric vehicles (EV) is upon us and the global automobile industry is now deliberately re-tooling its supply chain to gear up for an electric future. While EVs represent a fundamental shift in automotive drive train technology, resulting in some new entrants like BYD and Tesla, the existing automotive supply chain doesnย’t need such a radical redesign to support this shift. EV assembly and electric vehicle component manufacturing will remain largely concentrated in existing automotive industry clusters globally and countries are competing for a chance to win these new EV investments. As the worldย’s 11th largest motor vehicle manufacturing country with new incentive policies to promote investments in the EV supply chain, Thailand is poised to solidify its position as a hub for ASEAN EV manufacturing.

To capitalize on the shift to EVs, Thailand developed a National Electric Vehicle policy and executive committee to oversee it. Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, Chairman of the Committee, announced on 11 March 2020 that ย“the goal is to become an ASEAN hub for EVs in 5 yearsย”. The cross functional National Electric Vehicle Policy Committee incorporates the Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Transport and is responsible for developing a national strategy for promoting investment in the industry and designing incentives to encourage investments in both vehicles and batteries.

Thailand has a proven track record of success in developing practical policies and investment incentives that have resulted in building successful industrial clusters. In 1997, to encourage the domestic production of 1-ton pick-ups, the government focused its incentives policies on promoting investments for what was called Thailandย’s automotive industry product champion. Thailandย’s tax and non-tax incentives and local content regulations attracted global pick-up truck assemblers and hundreds of their Tier-1 and Tier-2 suppliers to invest in Thailand. As a result, production, domestic sales and exports of pick-ups grew considerably from 1997 to 2008 and Thailand cemented its place as the second largest production base for pick-up trucks in the world, with all major global pick-up assemblers having at least one manufacturing facility in the country. Leveraging the success in pick-up trucks, investment incentives were extended in 2009 to passenger vehicles and further extended to eco-vehicles (passenger cars with engines of less than 1300 cc). EVs will be the newest beneficiary of the Thailandย’s well regarded and successful investment incentives programs.

Thailandย’s EV incentives seek to promote investments across the supply chain for all types of EV technology: hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles. To accelerate EV production, the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) developed investment incentives that include import duty exemptions on raw materials and capital equipment as well as corporate income tax holidays for up to 8 years. Global vehicle manufacturers seeking to expand their EV production have already taken advantage of these new incentives, including BMW, FOMM, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mine Mobility, Mitsubishi, Nissan, SAIC Motor-CP and Toyota. Thailandย’s EV investment incentives extend along the supply chain. In to assembly, 13 types of EV components such as batteries, traction motors and battery management systems (BMS) amongst others. EV assemblers and component manufacturers, including Toyota, Honda, Drรคxlmaier, MHI automotive Climate Control and SWS Motors have taken advantage of these incentives to begin producing battery components in Thailand.

Thailand is well positioned to offer companies managing the transition to EVs a world class vehicle and component manufacturing infrastructure in addition to being able to leverage its strengths in electronics and electrical components. Thailandย’s globally competitive operating cost, conditions and production scale, complemented by what are regarded as the best investment incentives in Asia, make it a perennial favorite to be included on automotive investors site location short-list. ย 

About Dennis Meseroll

As Tractusย’ Executive Director and a founding partner of the company, Dennis brings more than 20 years of consulting experience having advised hundreds of companies on their direct investment, market entry and market expansion strategies in Asia. Since 1995, Dennis has been the project leader of operational and financial feasibility assessments, site location analyses, real estate and investment incentives negotiations and transactions as overseen dozens of corporate entity establishments and investment approvals through to operational start-up.

As a thought leader in the foreign business community in Asia, Dennis has acted as an advisor to the investment promotion agencies of the governments of China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines and Thailand; the Ministry of Finance of the government of Pakistan; the trade promotion agencies of the states of Ohio and New Jersey as well as The World Bank, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and the ASEAN Secretariat on the development of trade promotion and investment attraction strategies in Asia.

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