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 28 Sep 2008

Bangkok eyes chance to host Japan’s regional investment HQ

Japan wants Thailand to amend "rigid procedures" and improve public utilities, and sees Thailand the right site for a regional headquarters to serve full market liberalisation under the Asean Free Trade Agreement which will take effect in 2010, Thai News Agency (TNA) quoted Thailand’s Board of Investment (BoI) secretary-general Sathit Chanjavanakul as saying Friday.

Sathit was speaking after attending a meeting of 25 Thai government agencies and Japanese officials.

He said Japan had asked Thailand to relax the Foreign Business Act, ease the granting of visas and work permits, and simplify customs procedures, adding that Japanese investors are choosing one Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) country as a regional centre to deal with the Asean Free Trade Agreement  and Thailand is considered as being ideal.

He warned that Thailand could lose the opportunity if tight government measures on foreign investment persist.

From 1970 until mid-2008 the BoI had issued about Bt2 trillion in promotional privileges for Japanese investment in Thailand in over 5,000 investment projects.

Trade between the two countries rose greatly after the Japan-Thailand  Economic Partnership Agreement was enforced last November.




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