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NEWS UPDATES 25 October 2009

Thailand asks Japan to import more food, hire more workers

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Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Saturday urged his Japanese counterpart Yukio Hatoyama to consider importing more Thai food and allowing more Thai workers to work in his country, Panitan Wattanayakorn, deputy secretary-general to the Thai premier, was quoted by Thai News Agency as saying.

The two leaders met for about 30 minutes on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit being held in the Thai resorts of Cha-am and Hua Hin with Hatoyama telling Abhisit that his government would consider the request to import more Thai food, according to Panitan.

Hatoyama, who came to power recently after his Democratic Party won a historic victory over the dominant Liberal Democratic Party in September, said that Thailand should raise the standard of quality of its food exports. Panitan said the Japanese government leader also urged the Thai government to care for Japanese businessmen who had invested in Thailand.

In June this year, Japanese operators of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Thailand asked the Japanese and Thai governments to grant financial assistance to them due to global economic meltdown.

Currently, there are approximately 7,000 Japanese-operated SMEs in Thailand. Out of the total, 1,300 firms are members of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce while the remainder are non-members without parent companies in Japan, also receive no help from the Thai or Japanese governments.


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