Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has extended an invitation to Japanese business leaders to invest in Thailand’s ambitious Land Bridge megaproject, coinciding with the celebration of 136 years of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Japan.
Mr. Srettha is currently in Japan for the 50th Year Commemorative Summit of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, scheduled to take place this Sunday.
Joining him is a team of cabinet ministers, featuring Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara and Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit.
On Friday, Mr. Srettha held discussions with Saito Ken, the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and subsequently addressed the Thailand-Japan Investment Forum.
The forum witnessed participation from over 500 Japanese investors and business figures, marking it as the largest such gathering since the easing of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In his address at the forum, Mr. Srettha presented the Thai government’s economic policies aimed at bolstering Thailand’s economic growth and enhancing its position in the global market.
“Thailand and Japan have enjoyed 136 years of amicable diplomatic relations, and bilateral ties between the two countries have gone from strength to strength in all dimensions, including the economy, trade, investment, and social ties,” he said.
“We are close friends at all levels, with cordial relations between the royal families of the two countries. The governments, businesses, and people of the two countries also enjoy healthy ties.”
“More than 6,000 companies from Japan have invested in Thailand, and there are also 80,000 Japanese in Thailand.”
Mr. Srettha explained that the government has formulated economic stimulus initiatives concentrated on sectors like the digital economy, green economy, artificial intelligence, and research and development for startups.
He emphasized that these initiatives are in harmony with Japan’s focus on environmentally sustainable technological innovations.
“I hope Thailand will be a destination [for your investment]. Even though Thailand’s economy has slowed down, the government has devised stimulus measures,” he said.
“Regarding investment, the Board of Investment offers incentives to attract foreign investment in 4,000 projects. Investment from Japan has played a part in boosting Thailand’s economic growth, and I thank Japanese investors for that”.
He said the government is prioritizing infrastructure projects, notably the Land Bridge megaproject, aimed at establishing a new logistics transportation network linking the Pacific and Indian Oceans through seaports, railway systems, and road networks.
The Land Bridge megaproject, valued at 1 trillion baht, aims to establish a logistic network connecting Ranong on the Andaman Sea to Chumphon on the Gulf of Thailand, featuring deep-water ports, a motorway, and a railway system.
This initiative was started by the Prayut-Chan-o-cha government in 2021 to stimulate Thailand’s economy.
Additionally, Mr. Srettha met with executives from Mitsui & Co, a prominent global trading and investment firm, to discuss potential collaboration in clean energy, anticipated to be a key industry resource in Thailand’s future.