Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has urged Japan to invest more in Thailand, especially in the 350-billion-baht water resource management and 2.2-trillion-baht infrastructure mega-projects.
Speaking in the weekly program “Yingluck Government Meets the People,” on 25 May 2013, the Prime Minister said that she also invited the Japanese business sector to invest in the development of the Dawei deep-sea port and other projects in Myanmar.
Prime Minister Yingluck led a delegation to visit Japan on 22-25 May 2013, when she took this opportunity to explain to Japan Thailand’s major investment plans and how they would benefit Japan. She said that Japan is now the largest group of foreign investors in Thailand. Apart from the automotive industry, she also wants Japanese business people to invest more in energy development and agricultural processing in Thailand. The Prime Minister pointed out that Japan invested in the Laem Chabang deep-sea port on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard 20 years ago and that it should place additional investment in the planned Dawei deep-sea port in Myanmar, as well. The Dawei deep-sea port will link with Laem Chabang and will also offer great business opportunities.
Prime Minister Yingluck said that, while in Japan, she delivered a keynote address at the Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia. She stated that Asia is diverse. When there is diversity, sometimes there can be conflicting interests. Asia needs to look beyond national interests and take into account the interests of the region as a whole. She also emphasized connectivity, especially investments to build connectivity, both on land and sea.
Concerning the Dawei deep-sea port development project, it was cited as an investment in the future of Asia. The issue received great attention from Japanese investors, who showed interest in supporting the sea port, the Dawei industrial estate, and other projects on electricity generation, waterworks, communications, and road construction there.
Meanwhile, Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk said that the Board of Investment (BOI) had organized a road show in Japan, with the participation of more than 200 Japanese investors. He said that many Japanese SME operators had shown interest in investing in Thailand, which will serve as a center in ASEAN. They have seen vast opportunities in doing business here after being informed about Thailand’s planned huge investment in infrastructure mega-projects.
According to Mr. Prasert, Japanese investors are interested in investing in Thailand in the manufacturing of automobiles, automotive parts, machinery, and electronic components, as well as food production. About 50 Thai SME business operators accompanied the Prime Minister on this trip to meet their Japanese counterparts.