Backlog of Thailand investment applications to be cleared in 2 months

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thailand's military government expects that backlogged applications from local and foreign investors to invest more than US$21 billion (S$26 billion) will be acted on within two months, the junta's head of economic matters said on Monday.

Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong said the backlog has applications totalling 700 billion baht (S$26 billion), though he didn't give any details.

According to the Board of Investment (BOI), applications from 10 global automakers, which together propose investments of about 139 billion baht, are pending. Processing of applications by investors to spend at least 200 million baht has been held up by months of political unrest.

Since December, the country has been without a proper government. On May 22, the army seized power, saying it would restore order.

Prajin said that on Wednesday, the names of a new board for the BOI, which will assess investment projects, will be submitted to the military council leader, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, for approval.

The existing BOI board, which just started work last month, stopped functioning along with the previous administration.

Prajin said he also wanted speedy permission for factory operations, to be given in 30 days instead of 90 days as in the past.