Amata Corp, Thailand's major developer and manager of factory estates, is set to expand its industrial zones to cater to Chinese investors, who are expected to set up 300 to 500 plants in its zones in the next five years.
There are around 60 Chinese factories in Amata zones currently. The firm's zones are expected to have 100 plants by the end of 2013.
Viboon Kromdit, chief marketing officer, expects the company to see better operating performance in the second half of this year, following greater investment in Amata City in Rayong by foreign companies, particularly those from China, which have relocated production bases after facing trade barriers to their exports from some trade partners.
China is also expected to experience a decline of economic growth to 7.5% 2013 from the previously estimated 8.5%, encouraging investors to look to overseas markets, a move supported by the Chinese government.
"We've prepared the land plots to serve rising demand for business establishments. We will expand phase by phase, each comprising between 1,000 and 2,000 rai," Viboon added.
Amata operates two estates in Thailand - Amata City in Rayong, and Amata Nakorn in Chon Buri - and one in Vietnam, the Amata City Bien Hoa Industrial Park Vietnam.
Another factor drawing Chinese businesses to set up plants in Amata zone is Amata's continous roadshows in China, led by Vikrom Kromadit, founder of Amata Group.
China regards Thailand as a strategic investment location thanks to its geographical proximity to other ASEAN countries.
Vikrom added that most Chinese businesses in Amata zones are in the auto-parts and food sectors. He said Chinese investors account for 10 per cent of total foreign investment in Amata zones. It is in fact the Japanese who comprise the largest single block of investors.
Viboon said the stampede of Chinese investors to Amata zones, combined with the government's plan to spend Bt2 trillion on transport infrastructure projects and Bt350 billion on water management projects, would boost foreign investors' confidence in Thailand and help Amata achieve its sales target of 3,000 rais this year.