Government support for Phuket investments

PHUKET: Phuket OEM Co plans to build a 76-million-baht surgical-mesh factory on the island following a grant of tax incentives from Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI).

Surgical mesh is used to help surgical wounds heal better and more quickly. BOI senior executive investment adviser Hirunya Suchinai said the company had been successful in turning a Swedish company’s research on synthetic fabrics into a commercial project.

The company is collaborating with a vocational college in Phuket to devise courses on medical equipment in order to alleviate a shortage of human resources in this field. Hirunya said it would also commit to recruiting those students once they graduated.

“So far, no approved projects have boosted cooperation with academic institutions like this one has. This is a good sign for Thailand, which wants to promote research and development (R&D) and high-value businesses,” she said.

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The plant will have an annual production capacity of 250,000 pieces.

Meanwhile, the BOI has also granted tax privileges for an 80-million-baht project to expand the Phuket Boat Lagoon’s capacity.

Hirunya said the project was aimed at meeting rising demand for rental berths and accommodation for boats and their owners in Phuket.

“Presently, 1,000-1,500 boat owners come and rent places to berth their boats in Phuket for [periods of] about 60 days on average. The rising demand has made the port’s capacity too tight,” she explained.

This project will be able to provide berths for 80 additional boats, she said. The Phuket Boat Lagoon now hosts about 250 boats and has 116 rooms for their owners. It also offers boat repair facilities.

Hirunya said the two projects were promoted in line with two of the BOI’s target industries: tourism and R&D-based enterprises.

— Nation & Gazette Reporters

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