Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has thanked Japanese business people for their confidence in Thailandís potential. He also urged them to invest in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) in eastern Thailand.
Japanese Economy, Trade, and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko led a group of more than 500 Japanese business executives and members of the media to meet the Prime Minister during their visit to Thailand on 11-13 September 2017. Their visit also marks the 130th anniversary of Thai-Japanese diplomatic relations this year.
He said that Japanese investors played an important role in the Thai economy, especially in the production, automotive, electrical, and electronic industries. These industries have become the pillars of Thailandís manufacturing and export sectors.
The Prime Minister stated that the Government emphasized efforts to bring about economic stability. A 20-year National Strategy has been worked out, so that the countryís economic and social development could be carried out on a continual basis. The Government has also launched major projects to develop infrastructure, ports, the digital system, and others.
Ten target industries with high technology have received a major boost. They are divided into two groups: the First S-Curve and the New S-Curve. The First S-Curve industries include automotive, electronics, affluent medical and wellness tourism, agriculture and biotechnology, and food processing. The New S-Curve industries include robotics, aviation and logistics, biofuels and biochemicals, the digital industry, and the medical hub.
The Prime Minister said that Thailand wanted to develop the EEC as the best and most modern economic zone of ASEAN. The EEC comprises three provinces, namely Chon Buri, Rayong, and Chachoengsao, where new cities will be developed for special economic development and investment in target industries. One of them is the Innovation City, which will be a model for technological research and innovations. Pooled resources will be promoted for the maximum benefit.
According to the Board of Investment (BOI), Japanese remains the largest group of foreign investors in Thailand. Japanese investment was valued at 65,435 million baht, accounting for 60 percent of Thailandís foreign investments.
BOI has encouraged Japanese and Thai small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to co-invest in various projects, as well as exchanging technology.