Thailand approves a further $1.6 bln of investment projects

BANGKOK, July 18 Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:37am EDT

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BANGKOK, July 18 (Reuters) - Thailand's Board of Investment (BOI) approved applications on Friday for 15 industrial projects worth 51.53 billion baht ($1.6 billion) as the authorities accelerated the approval process after delays caused by months of political turmoil.

Last month, after a military government seized power in May and restored order, the BOI approved applications for 18 projects worth about 120 billion baht ($3.7 billion).

Military ruler General Prayuth Chan-ocha chaired the meeting on Friday.

The latest projects to be approved include a plant worth 9.7 billion baht where Auto Alliance (Thailand) Co Ltd, a joint venture between Ford Motor and Mazda Motor Corp, can produce 158,000 environmentally friendly vehicles a year.

The BOI also granted investment privileges for three power-producing projects and six wind-energy plants. ($1 = 32.16 baht) (Reporting by Wilawan Pongpitak and Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Alan Raybould)

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