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BoI told to revise bioeconomy plans

The Board of Investment is told revise privileges and incentives to attract new investment flows for the bioeconomy project, according to Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Industry Ministry is calling for the Board of Investment (BoI) to revise privileges and incentives to attract new investment flows for the bioeconomy project.

Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana said the BoI's board meeting on Friday, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, resolved to revise all packages relevant to the bioeconomy project.

The government wants to add more privileges and incentives to bioeconomy investment, in investment categories Group A1 and A2, which are eligible to receive a corporate income tax exemption for eight years, Mr Uttama said.

"Gen Prayut sent back the investment draft to the BoI for reconsideration," he said.

The project encompasses five sectors: biochemicals, bioenergy, food, animal feed and biopharmaceuticals.

The bioeconomy scheme is part of the Pracha Rat (People's State) initiative, whereby the government will promote value-added agricultural products and increase local household income.

The bioeconomy plan has been implemented in northeastern and northern provinces since last April, when the cabinet approved the measure.

The bioeconomy refers to all economic activities derived from scientific and research activity focused on biotechnology.

The government plans to develop the biochemical project until 2027.

Under the scheme, the biochemical project is part of cooperation between the government and investors.

Khon Kaen, Nakhon Sawan, Kamphaeng Phet and Udon Thani were previously chosen as biochemical hubs for cassava and sugar cane.

Those three provinces, including surrounding areas, generate massive volumes of cassava and sugar cane.

The biochemical project will make use of crops as a pharmaceutical-grade raw material, as well as food and feed products to serve the global market.

Unified effort

In 2017, 23 organisations spanning state agencies, private companies, universities and research centres signed a memorandum of understanding to drive bioeconomy development.

Companies such as Thai Beverage, Global Green Chemicals, Mitr Phol Group, Purac Thailand, Corbion Group and Kaset Thai International Sugar Corporation are interested in the biochemical plan.

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