A sector with an agenda

Organic, circular and green economic development is one of the major issues that will be discussed by business leaders ahead of the Apec meeting. Nutthawat Wicheanbut

The 2022 meetings of the Apec Business Advisory Council (Abac), which highlights the organic, circular and green (BCG) business model, pushes Thailand to prepare for cutting-edge technologies and environmentally friendly businesses.

The Thai government introduced BCG as a new path for national economic development a few years before it was put on the agenda of the four Abac meetings, held as part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit ( Apec) of 2022, hosted by Thailand later this year.

Since early last year, BCG has been high on Thailand’s national agenda, directing the policies of many state agencies, including the ministries of industry and energy.

Three concepts grouped under one umbrella, the bioeconomy, the circular economy and the green economy have different emphases, but share the same goal of encouraging companies to design ways to add value to their products and services. thanks to a manufacturing that has little or no impact. on the environment.

The government is determined to use BCG to fuel the national economy, while encouraging advanced technologies, including biotechnology and pharmaceutical technology, which are increasingly important following the outbreak of African swine fever in the Thai pig farms.

Duangjai expects BCG’s investment projects to continue to increase in Thailand.


BOOST INVESTMENT

The authorities are planning more tax incentives to boost investment in BCG projects, following the growth of BCG’s economic development last year.

Foreign and Thai investors are encouraged to invest in BCG’s projects as they align with a global trend of promoting environmentally friendly industries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The government wants to see manufacturers increase their investment in Thailand, especially in the agricultural industry, which is promoted to help farmers earn more money through the development of value-added products,” the Minister of Agriculture said. ‘Industry, Suriya Jungrungreangkit.

BCG’s investment projects are expected to generate up to 130 billion baht in economic value for Thailand in the future, according to the ministry’s estimate.

Along with attractive investment privilege packages, the ministry intends to develop the BCG economy by carrying out more R&D projects, providing financial support to economic operators, enhancing workers’ skills and setting up new platforms. e-commerce to facilitate sales.

According to the ministry, among BCG’s major projects, some involve bio-economy, with an investment value of more than 10 billion baht. They include a polylactic acid (PLA) technology project in Rayong, Thailand’s first biochemical complex in Nakhon Sawan, and the Palm Biocomplex project in Chon Buri.

PLA is a compostable biopolymer that can be used in a variety of applications, including coffee capsules and food packaging. This biopolymer is made from renewable sources such as corn starch or sugar cane.

The development of products based on PLA technology can benefit the agricultural sector because it uses agricultural products as raw materials.

The ministry expects bioeconomy projects to help Thailand achieve its goal of becoming the “Bio Hub of Asean” by 2027.

Ethanol derived from sugar cane can be mixed with gasoline to make gasohol. Somchai Poomlard


SIGNIFICANT GROWTH

The Thai Board of Investment (BoI) announced last year that the value of investments in BCG project proposals jumped 123% year-on-year to 152 billion baht. The board expects the amount to continue to grow.

Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General of the BoI, expressed his belief that the number of projects and their value will continue to increase as BCG is a global trend and is on the national agenda.

The Thai government has joined the international community in adopting more environmentally friendly measures in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, she said.

Since 2015, more than 2,800 projects have benefited from investment incentives granted by the BoI.

BCG’s most popular segment was renewable energy development and waste-to-energy plant projects, according to a BoI report released last year. Next come food additives and ingredients using high technology, followed by green polymers and chemicals, recycled agricultural raw materials and natural rubber.

The BoI expects BCG investments to reach 25% of GDP in five years.

Above, Global Power Synergy Plc’s waste-to-energy plant in Rayong. Pattarapong Chatpattarasill


AVOID BARRIERS

Manufacturing BCG can be used as a preventive measure against new international rules dealing with products that fail to meet environmental standards, said Kriengkrai Thiennukul, president of the Federation of Thai Industries.

Climate change, which is primarily the result of global warming, has prompted many countries to join global campaigns to reduce carbon dioxide. The EU plans to implement a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, or CBAM, imposing fees on manufacturers who fail to adopt technology that benefits the global climate.

Steel, aluminum, power generation, fertilizers and cement are five industries targeted by CBAM. Supply chains related to these activities will be affected in the near future, Kriengkrai said.

He urged Thai manufacturers to follow a carbon neutral campaign or else their exports could be affected by new international trade rules.

Carbon neutrality refers to efforts to balance carbon dioxide emissions and absorption to reduce global warming.

Right Unused plastic can be mixed with asphalt for road construction as part of the circular business model.


POWER OF TECHNOLOGY

BCG, biotechnology and pharmaceutical technology share the same goal of supporting farmers, workers and entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector.

Sugar cane growers and sugar manufacturers can use the bioeconomy concept to promote the use of renewable resources as raw materials to produce energy, food and other value-added products.

This industry can use molasses to make ethanol and sell dried sugar cane pulp residue as fuel to power plants, according to the Thai Sugar Millers Corporation, which has urged the industry to look for new sources of income other than than the manufacture of sugar.

The government is pushing ahead with the Nakornsawan Bio Complex project, covering 2,000 rai in Takhli district of Nakhon Sawan province, as it moves towards its goal of becoming the Bio Hub of ASEAN.

The first phase of development provides for the design of a sugarcane crushing unit with a daily capacity of 24,000 tonnes; an ethanol production plant with a daily capacity of 600,000 liters per day; a biomass power plant with a capacity of 85 megawatts; and a steam output of 475 tons per hour.

In the field of livestock, a public-private study was initiated to develop a new pig vaccine.

The National Science and Technology Development Agency is working with Bioscience Animal Health Plc (BIS), a supplier of animal medicines and vaccines, on the project. They aim to reduce imports of expensive animal vaccines.

“Thailand imports animal vaccines worth more than 7 billion baht a year and the value continues to grow as we are a base for agriculture and animal husbandry,” said Thanawat Kongcharoensombat, veterinarian and director. BIS general.

The company believes the new pig vaccine will help farm owners reduce the cost of animal treatments.

“Vaccines and animal feed are 70% of production costs, so if farm owners use locally made vaccines, it will be good for them financially,” Thanawat said.

Thailand’s animal vaccine market has potential for growth because now only a small number of meat-producing companies, mostly large ones, can produce vaccines themselves, he said.

Mr. Thanawat is confident that Thailand can eventually become an animal vaccine hub in ASEAN with government assistance, R&D facilities and technology that can support the development of vaccines for many animals.

“Vaccines can be used for a wide variety of animals, from livestock and pets to aquatic animals, so vaccine development promises good commercial prospects,” he said.

The national livestock market, made up of foreign and local food companies, is worth around 33 billion baht per year.

The export market is at the center of BRI’s concerns.

“We distribute 446 products, including medicines, vaccines and animal products, to customers in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam,” Mr. Thanawat said.

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