BANGKOK: Industrial parks in Thailand have caught the attention of some Indian companies looking to foray into the Southeast Asian market.
During the course of Subcon Thailand 2016 and Intermach 2016, Southeast Asia's biggest industrial sub-contracting and business matchmaking events held in this Thai capital from May 11 to 14, two Indian companies made a quick visit to the Rojana Industrial Park in Ayutthaya, some 80 km away.
Spread over 15,000 rai (1 rai = 1,500 square metres), the Rojana Industrial Park in Ayutthaya is the largest of six such across Thailand.
The other five are located at Prachinburi (6,000 rai), Pluak Daeng (1,500 rai), Ban Khai (2,500 rai), Bowin (2,000 rai) and Laemchabang (2,000 rai).
Founded in 1988 as a Thai-Japanese joint venture by Vinichbutr Group and Nippon Steel & Sumikin Bussan Corporation, the business of the Rojana Industrial Parks is to develop industrial land complete with international standard infrastructure and utilities under the investment promotion policy of the Board of Investment (BoI), Thailand.
"Each of these parks offers some unique advantages to investors looking to set up industrial units," Waran-U Yuwanich, sales manager at Rojana Industrial Park Public Co. Ltd., told IANS.
"While the one at Ayutthaya is a logistics hub and offers first class infrastructure, the one at Prachinburi is located in a labour pool region," he said.
The Rojana Industrial Park at Pluak Daeng is just 30 minutes away from Laemchabang and Maptaphut ports, the one at Ban Khai is 28 km from Maptaphut port, the one at Bowin is close to three deep sea ports and the one at Laemchabang is just nine km away from the port at that place.
"Since Thailand is at the centre of the AEC (Asean Economic Community), it becomes easier to transport goods to other Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries like Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia," Waran-U said.
There are some other advantages in setting up business in these BoI parks as well.
For one, job hopping from one company to another is not allowed.
Land title permanent ownership is allowed in all BoI parks in Thailand for foreign investors.
Companies in these parks are allowed to hire foreign experts and skilled workers and there is no cap on remittances.
Ashok Tandon, president and managing director of Lloyds Steel Industries, one of the two Indian companies that visited the Rojana Industrial Park at Ayutthaya, sees a lot of advantages in doing business from these parks.
"There is a lot of good and already developed infrastructure in the park," he said.
"We also do not have to pay the infrastructure development cost entirely as it is shared with other companies."
Tandon said that movement of goods would be easy as these parks were located close to the Southeast Asian market and were also close to the ports.
"Logistics cost can be controlled to a large extent and making the licence available is much easier as it is an already approved industrial park," he said, adding that he was looking at Rojana Industrial Park as one of the areas to set up operations.
Sandeep Saroff, proprietor of Kolkata-based Zenith Industries, who also visited the Ayutthaya park is optimistic about the prospects.
"I went to Rojana thinking of setting up something like a foundry which can save logistics cost and also to find out how to set up a company in Thailand," he said.
Zenith Industries is a leading distributor of electrical power tools and importers of Karnasch TCT core bit and core-cutting machines from Germany.
Another reason why the Rojana Iundustrial Parks are attracting Indian investors is because there are 400 ready-to-move-in factories, each covering areas from 1,000 square metres to 10,000 square metres.
And the best is for the last. At 130,000 rai, BoI in collaboration with Italy is planning to set up the largest Rojana Industrial Park at Burma Dawei in Myanmar.