The Thai government has encouraged US investors to invest more in Thailand, which has a policy to promote foreign investment.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra welcomed a group of business people from the US-ASEAN Business Council, who paid a courtesy call on her on 10 April 2013, during its annual visit to Thailand.
The group was led by the Chairman of the US-ASEAN Business Council, Mr. Alexander C. Feldman. It comprised more than 30 companies operating in financial, insurance, food, energy, pharmaceutical, IT, transport, and logistics businesses.
According to Secretary-General to the Prime Minister Suranand Vejjajiva, Prime Minister Yingluck cited 2013 as an important year, as it marks the 180th anniversary of Thai-US diplomatic relations. The visit of the group reflected the confidence of the US business community in the Thai economy and business opportunities in Thailand.
The Prime Minister said that the Thai economy had fully recovered from the flood crisis in 2011. She referred to the statement by Fitch Ratings on 8 March 2013, which upgraded Thailand from BBB to BBB+. The credit rating shows that Thailand’s economic fundamentals remain strong.
Prime Minister Yingluck told the group of American business people that the Thai government had reduced the 30 percent corporate income tax rate to 23 percent in 2012 and to 20 percent in 2013. The decision was intended to enhance the competitiveness of various industries. The Government expects that Thailand’s GDP will expand at around 4.5 – 5.5 percent in 2013.
She said that Thailand’s geographical location gave the country an advantage, since it serves as the gateway to ASEAN. The Prime Minister stressed that the Government would proceed with its plan to carry out mega-infrastructure development projects in order to reduce transport production costs for the industrial sector both in and outside Thailand.
In 2013, she said, the Government would focus its efforts on the development of the high-speed train system, deep-sea ports, water resources, and food and energy security for sustainable development.
The Prime Minister said that the House of Representatives had passed the bill in the first reading on the two-trillion-baht loan for the mega-projects. The Government would spend part of the loan on developing the rail system, roads, and sea links. It would also use another 12 billion US dollars for water resource management.
She stated that the Government has also supported research and development for new techniques and technologies to achieve a knowledge-based economy and promote the green industry and the development of alternative energy.
The Chairman of the US-ASEAN Business Council said that the council would continue to promote investment in Thailand and the ASEAN region.