Thailand’s Shipbuilding Plan to be Discussed

Thursday, January 26, 2006
Thailand’s shipping agencies and the private sector plan to meet by the middle of next month to work out an action plan to develop and promote shipbuilding in Thailand. The Bangkok Post reported that the Industry Ministry had drawn up an action plan, but proposals needed to be substantiated. The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) proposes that the Board of Investment (BoI) promote shipbuilding in Thailand, namely ships between 5,000 tons and 100,000 tons, and grants the industry special status, so it can enjoy the greatest promotional privileges. These include tax breaks of up to eight years and exemption from import duty on machinery. The NESDB also proposes that the government establish a special fund to finance the development of shipbuilding in Thailand, and set up a specific industrial estate for this at Laem Chabang port. According to the NESDB, building ships in the country could generate an income of $169.5 million a year and $14.5 million from the repairs and maintenance, as well as create over 19,200 jobs. Thai ships currently generate about 10% of the industry's total marine transportation value, which stands at about $7.7 billion. The study conducted by the Industry Ministry showed that 60% of the production costs of building a ship would go on importing contents and machinery. (Source: Bangkok Post)
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