ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Japan continues Thai investments
Japanese investment in Thailand will not decline and should accelerate in the near term as Japanese companies step up investments overseas following the destruction caused by massive earthquakes and a tsunami 10 days ago, say Tokyo-based government and business representatives.
Yasuo Hayashi, chairman and CEO of the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro), confirmed Japanese companies will not cut back their investments in Thailand as the Japanese recover from their worst crisis since World War II and tackle nuclear radiation leakage.
"Japanese companies will not go away," said Mr. Hayashi at a Jetro symposium held in Bangkok yesterday.
"Thailand is an important production base for Japanese companies for exports to Asia and other parts of the world, especially at this time when manufacturing in Japan is suffering." He added that sectors such as automobile and steel may even enjoy higher investment from Japan.
But Mr Hayashi, considered the first high-ranking Japanese government official to arrive in Thailand since the disaster hit the Japanese coast, admitted it will take time for companies to resume normal production at home due to the impact on employees.
"The [Japanese] government is determined to increase its budget spending for reconstruction in the damaged areas to kick-start its economic recovery."
Thailand Trade Representative Vachara Phanchet affirmed Jetro reassured him Japanese investments in Thailand worth 111 billion baht a year will not be affected by increasing Japanese outflows. "As part of Japan's 'Grow with Asia' strategy, the country introduced an outbound PPP (Public-Private Partnership) initiative that will enhance investments in infrastructure, agriculture and automotive sectors," said Dr. Vachara.
Investments in residential projects to serve Japanese executives and retirees moving to Thailand could also be expected, he added.
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