BANGKOK, Feb 3 — The Japan-Thailand Joint Trade and Economic Committee and the Ministry of Industry are preparing together for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), but Japan will propose changes to Board of Investment (BoI) promotional privilege criteria by the end of next month.
Eizo Kobayashi, chairman of the Japan-Thailand Joint Trade and Economic Committee delegation, met Industry Minister Chakramon Phasukavanich to discuss infrastructure development, trade and investment topics and seek Thai government support for operators and AEC preparations.
Mr Chakramon said that the Japanese delegation wanted changes to the BoI’s new promotional privilege criteria that took effect on January 1.
The criteria aim to enhance Thailand’s competitiveness in the global arena, he said, and Japan will propose the changes within March.
However, Thailand should remain attractive to Japanese investors as its economy is the second biggest in the region after Indonesia and it already entered the AEC and thus would upsize its markets from 60 million to 600 million consumers, the minister said.
Besides, Thailand’s infrastructure and population size continued to interest Japanese investors, he added.
About 500 Japanese small- and medium-sized enterprises will invest in Thailand this year. If each arrives with a Bt500 million investment, about 25 billion baht should flow into the country this year, Mr Chakramon said.
The Japanese government was encouraging 10,000 SMEs to invest overseas and last year Japanese operators invested more than Bt200 billion in Thailand, the industry minister said.
Thai, Japanese representatives discuss economic cooperation
BANGKOK, Feb 3 — Senior executives of the Japan Business Federation, Keidanren, met Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon to discuss economic cooperation including electric mass transit investment.
Eizo Kobayashi and Toshiyuki Shiga, chairman and co-chairman respectively of Keidanren’s Japan-Thailand Trade and Economic Committee, met Gen Prawit at Government House yesterday.
Gen Prawit informed them that political stability had been restored in Thailand and the arrival of some 60 leading Japanese businesspersons to attend the 23rd meeting of the Japan-Thailand Trade and Economic Committee showed Japanese investors’ confidence in Thailand.
The meeting had not been held for three years, he said.
In the meeting at Government House, both sides emphasized comprehensive bilateral cooperation, railway development, trade in farm products and investment in special economic development zones.
The Japanese representatives told Gen Prawit that Japan was looking for investment-friendly train routes.
Besides, they said, Japan is ready to welcome Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who will visit next Monday to discuss a railway to link Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar and they hope the visit would be successful.
PM set to meet Japan business leaders
Government House said on Wednesday executives of the powerful Japanese Business Federation, better known as Keidanren — Honda, Mitsui, Mitsubishi and Marubeni — will meet with the prime minister during his visit to Japan from Sunday to Tuesday.
It will be Gen Prayut’s first visit to Thailand’s biggest investors since the military took power in May last year.
A government source said the separate talks with the Japanese companies had been set for Monday following a meeting between Gen Prayut and Thai delegates and the Japanese government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Gen Prayut will meet high-ranking officials of five economic organisations in the Kansai area in Osaka on Tuesday, the source added.
The Thai delegates will leave Tokyo for Osaka on a Shinkansen train.