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February 4, 2009

Thai PM sets out on investment roadshow to Japan
In a move to restore Thailand's image and to attract new foreign investment, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will lead a team of government officials and current Japanese investors in Thailand today on the country's first investment promotion roadshow to Tokyo.

During the four-day visit to Japan, Abhisit plans to give a speech to an expected audience of senior Japanese government officials and businessmen, Thai News Agency quoted Industry Minister Charnchai Chairungrueng as saying.

The roadshow is aimed at assuring foreign investors that normalcy has returned to Thailand and that the government's policy to welcome foreign investment remains intact, said Charnchai. The prime minister will also present his government's policy on improving Thailand's economy in both the short and long-term.

Other key speakers expected to speak on the same platform with the prime minister are Fukujiro Yamabe, president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, and Yutaka Kunimoto, president of Ajinomoto Co. (Thailand) Ltd.

According to Atchaka Brimble, secretary-general of the Board of Investment (BoI), Japanese investors are Thailand's largest investment segment.

In 2008, Japanese investors sought a total of 324 promotional  privileges from the BoI, or 40 percent of total foreign organisations seeking such privileges, with a combined investment of about 103 billion baht, equivalent to 35 percent of total foreign investment.

Most Japanese investment in Thailand is in the automobile and parts, electrical appliances and electronics, and hard disk drive production.

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