Workers on the assembly line at a car manufacturing factory in Thailand. (Source: thaiauto.or.th)

Bangkok (VNA) – Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Thailand has fallen by 90 percent in the first half of 2016 to the lowest level in the past ten years, according to the Bank of Thailand (BOT).

According to a report from the BOT, FDI reduced from 4.2 billion USD in the first half of 2015 to 347 million USD in the same period in 2016, the lowest level since 2005.

The economic reason leading to the reduction was attributed to Thailand’s industrial structure that mainly manufactures low-technology products while wages have increased at a relatively fast pace in comparison with neighbouring countries.

The slowdown of the global economy has also influenced foreign investment as investors have been reluctant to pour money into big projects.

Thailand’s unstable politics in recent years has also affected FDI in Thailand.

On August 7, Thailand will hold a referendum on a new constitution amidst increasingly intense disagreements on the country’s development.

The draft constitution has much controversial content and is likely to be scrapped, which will increase instability in the Southeast Asian country.

However, the Thai government’s Board of Investment (BoI) rejected the BOT’s report and said the bank’s remarks were based on purely financial data while BoI said FDI projects registered in the first half of 2016 showed this capital has been on the rise.

According to the BoI, the Southeast Asian country attracted 328 FDI projects with a combined investment of 2.43 billion USD in the first six months of 2016.-VNA