As Thailand continues to recognize climate change and environmental issues, the country is embracing green technology to improve its agricultural practices and in pursuit of the ambitious goal of achieving ‘net zero’ carbon. The country is actively working to attract foreign investors and expertise through legislation and initiatives focused on sustainability and economic growth.
Trends in Agriculture
Agriculture has historically played a critical role in Thailand’s economy, providing livelihoods for millions of Thais and making significant contributions to the country’s GDP. The government legally protects and supports the industry, but historically has been slow to change traditional agriculture practices. However, these practices have negatively affected the local and regional environment causing issues such as water and soil contamination from the overuse of hazardous chemicals (e.g., pesticides, fertilizers) and air pollution from field burning.
Initiatives for Sustainability
Thailand has made strides in sustainability through various certification programs and initiatives, encouraging businesses to adopt eco-friendly practices:
- Thailand Green Label: Administered by the Thailand Environment Institute (TEI), this program certifies environmentally friendly products and services, promoting sustainable consumption across various sectors.
- Carbon Reduction Label (CRL): The Thai Carbon Reduction Label, managed by the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO), identifies products and services that reduce their carbon footprint, encouraging emission reductions.
- Thai Labor Standard (TLS 8001): TLS 8001 sets ethical and socially responsible business standards, emphasizing labor rights, fair employment practices, and ethical conduct.
- OTOP (One Tambon, One Product) Certification: Supporting local products and crafts, OTOP aids small businesses and encourages community-oriented practices.
- Recognition of International Certifications: Thai brands can showcase their sustainability commitment by obtaining certifications from renowned international organizations such as Fair Trade, USDA Organic, and the Forest Stewardship Council.
- Thai Sustainable Tourism Certification (TSTC): Focusing on sustainable tourism practices, TSTC recognizes businesses that prioritize environmental conservation, cultural preservation, and community engagement.
- Plastic-Free Thailand Certification: In response to plastic pollution concerns, some organizations recognize businesses for adopting plastic-reduction measures.
Appealing to Investors
Thailand’s transformation towards a greener agricultural sector presents an opportunity for foreign investors. The Thai authorities, particularly the BOI, have proactively taken steps to attract foreign investment in this sector.
BOI Investment Incentives: The Thai government offers various incentives to foreign investors, including tax breaks, grants, and land lease options, all aimed at encouraging investment in green technology and sustainable agriculture. These incentives not only attract investors but also contribute to Thailand’s overall economic growth.
Bilateral Agreements: Thailand has been actively engaged in discussions and negotiations with other countries to establish bilateral agreements that promote collaboration in agriculture and technology transfer.
Technology Transfer: Investors bringing valuable expertise and technology to Thailand can benefit by partnering with local farmers and businesses, accelerating the adoption of green technology and sustainable practices.
Market Access: Thailand’s strategic location in Southeast Asia offers investors access to a robust consumer market, and collaborations with local agriculture businesses can cater to the region’s increasing demand for environmentally friendly products and services, leading to positive returns for investors.
Thailand’s journey towards a greener and more sustainable agricultural sector signifies a strategic move to attract foreign investment. Through progressive legislation, adoption of technological innovation, and proactive engagement with international partners, Thailand is well-positioned to emerge as a regional leader in green agriculture, benefiting both its economy and the environment.
Silk Legal offers investors options under current available investment schemes and promotions through the government, with a realistic and pragmatic approach toward addressing the regulatory environment, the agricultural industry, and its governing departments, and offering the maximum amount of legal protection for foreign investments.