Thailand keen on Japanese investment in Dawei
- Published: 17/01/2013 at 09:42 PM
- Online news:
Thailand is interested in a partnership with Japan to jointly develop the 325-billion-baht deepwater port in Dawei, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on Thursday.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is granted an audience with His Majesty the King at Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana Auditorium at Siriraj Hospital. (Photo courtesy of the Royal Household Bureau)
"I want to see Japan become a partner in the Dawei project," said Ms Yingluck after a meeting with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "I'm hoping for a meeting on the project soon between senior officials from Japan, Thailand and Myanmar."
An agreement to jointly develop the Dawei project in southeastern Myanmar was signed last year by the governments of Thailand and Myanmar, but the massive project is known to be in need of financial backing.
Thailand could reduce its shipping time to Western markets by three days if it opens a road transport link with Dawei by avoiding the Strait of Malacca.
The project is to be built by Italian-Thai Development Plc, which won a 60-year concession to operate the port and industrial estate on a 240-square-kilometre plot three years ago.
Mr Abe said Japan and Thailand will develop a closer partnership and promote their economies.
Japan is interested in investing in infrastructure including the water management project in Thailand, the Japanese prime minister said.
"Japan is ready to help develop infrastructure in Thailand," Mr Abe said.
The Japanese prime minister arrived in Thailand on Thursday.
He visited Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology and was granted an audience with His Majesty the King at Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana Auditorium at Siriraj Hospital before holding talks with Ms Yingluck at Government House.
Japan is Thailand's top trading partner and the kingdom is the sixth biggest trading partner of Japan. Trade volume between the two countries reached 2.11 trillion baht in the first 11 months of 2012.
Japan is also Thailand's biggest source of foreign direct investment, with a total amount of 312 billion baht or 63% of total foreign direct investment.
Japanese tourists rank third in terms of numbers after Malaysians and Chinese. Over 1.2 million Japanese visited Thailand in 2012, while more than 210,000 Thais visited Japan in the same year.
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Writer: Thanida Tansubhapol and dpa