Japan roadshow seeks B10bn from investors

Japan roadshow seeks B10bn from investors

Focus on EVs, smart electronic industries

Electric vehicles on display at Sustainability Expo 2022. EVs and smart electronics are among the targeted industries being promoted by the government for investment. (Photo:  Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Electric vehicles on display at Sustainability Expo 2022. EVs and smart electronics are among the targeted industries being promoted by the government for investment. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit expects to draw investment worth 10 billion baht from Japanese businesses during a roadshow to promote the growth of electric vehicles (EVs) and smart electronic industries in Thailand.

The roadshow is scheduled for Jan 11-15 in Ishikawa prefecture.

EVs and smart electronic products are targeted industries being promoted by the government.

"We expect the roadshow to generate up to 10 billion baht in investment value and support long-term investment in Thailand," said Mr Suriya.

The ministry's Department of Industrial Promotion plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with Ishikawa prefecture to develop business relationships between Thai small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and investors in Ishikawa.

Industrial promotion officials want to support local businesses, especially those run by SMEs that play an important role in contributing to the economy.

During the five-day trip, the Industry Ministry plans to meet Nishimura Yasutoshi, the minister of economy, trade and industry, to discuss Japanese investment opportunities in Thailand.

"The government wants to invite Japanese investors to invest in Thailand, where S-curve industries are being developed in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC)," said Mr Suriya.

The EEC, which includes parts of Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao provinces in eastern Thailand, hosts 12 targeted S-curve industries: cars; smart electronics; affluent, medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; food; robotics for industry; logistics and aviation; biofuels and biochemicals; digital; medical services; defence; and education development.

The Japanese are key foreign investors in Thailand and play an important role in supporting various Thai industries.

Japanese investment was ranked third in terms of value after China and Taiwan, said the Board of Investment.

Japan's investment value tallied 37.6 billion baht, following China (45 billion) and Taiwan (39.3 billion) during the first nine months of 2022.

From January to September last year, the total value of foreign direct investment in Thailand was 276 billion baht, a year-on-year decrease of 25%.

The decline resulted partly from travel restrictions imposed as part of measures to control Covid-19, which stopped some investors from travelling to Thailand.

Mr Suriya said he believes the ongoing development of infrastructure and facilities in the EEC as well as the government's policy to support bio-, circular and green (BCG) economic development will be factors attracting Japanese investors.

BCG, which was declared a national agenda item by the government, encourages manufacturers to adopt techniques that add value to their products and cause little or no impact to the environment.

The development of the EV industry is part of state efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The National EV Policy Committee announced in 2021 it wants EVs to constitute 50% of locally made vehicles by 2030, part of an ambitious plan to make Thailand a regional EV hub.


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