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Industry/Skilled Labour
July 15, 2007

Low-tech investment out but hi-tech stays
Deputy Industry Minister Piyabutr Cholvijan confirmed that labour-intensive industrial operations have begun to relocate out of Thailand whereas the high-technology industry sector remains an investment magnet.

Mr. Piyabutr said the appreciation of baht is probably one of the factors, but investors normally give more weight in their decisions to infrastructure concerns including labour supply, as well as government policy.

Citing his own experience, the Deputy Industry Minister said some investors have actually relocated their production bases to other countries, particularly labour-intensive operations.

However, the high-tech sector remains strong and is likely to attract more investment in the future, he said.

Mr. Piyabutr added that in his meeting with Japan's External Trade Organisation, the Japanese agency informed him of the needs on Japanese investors part in relations to skilled labour needed for the

Given the demand from Japanese investors, the Industry Ministry and other Thai government agencies will invest in a skill development centre to equip workers with the skills required to work in automotive and motorcycle manufacturing plants. TNA

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