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Thailand Targets Semiconductor Boom Amid Global Frenzy

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In a bid to bolster its foothold in the booming semiconductor industry, Thailand is ramping up efforts to allure foreign investment. The Board of Investment (BoI) revealed Thailand’s keen interest in attracting more foreign capital for the production of advanced semiconductors this year.

According to Wirat Tatsaringkansakul, the BoI’s deputy secretary-general, a surge in investment from companies based in China and Taiwan is anticipated. These companies are eyeing Thailand, particularly for the production of printed circuit boards, as they seek to mitigate geopolitical risks.

“Thailand presents an appealing proposition for these investments, backed by robust infrastructure, a skilled workforce, and attractive tax incentives,” Mr. Wirat stated.

In 2023, Thailand saw total semiconductor investment soar to 800 billion baht, as per BoI data. Recently, Sony Device Technology (Thailand) (SDT) injected 2.3 billion baht into its new semiconductor fabrication building (Building 4), aimed at manufacturing image sensors for automotive applications, display devices, and laser diodes for data centers.

Takeshi Matsuda, managing director of SDT, emphasized Thailand’s advantages in terms of cost-effectiveness and skilled labor, citing the geopolitical climate as a factor influencing their decision to expand in the country.

The new facility, sprawling over 66,370 square meters, is poised to contribute significantly to the automotive sector and data center industry in Thailand, Mr. Matsuda highlighted.

With plans to commence laser diode production by mid-year and image sensor assembly for automotive applications next year, SDT anticipates adding 2,000 employees to its current workforce of 1,600 within three years.

Terushi Shimizu, chief executive of Sony Semiconductor Solutions (SSS), underscored the strategic importance of semiconductors in driving innovation and national development for both Thailand and Japan.

Highlighting Sony’s longstanding partnership with Thailand, Wirat noted Sony Group’s significant investment in the country, spanning 17 projects valued at 22 billion baht, with a workforce of 8,000 employees.

The expansion plans of SDT align with Sony’s broader strategy for growth, focusing on image sensors, micro OLED displays, and laser diodes as key drivers.

Amidst global semiconductor demand surge, Thailand’s pursuit of semiconductor excellence underscores its commitment to leveraging technological advancements for economic growth and innovation.

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