Britain keen on Thailand 4.0 scheme
British investors have expressed interest in Thailand, especially its high-tech and innovative industries, says Industry Minister Atchaka Sibunruang.
She said British investors are expected to improve several sectors as they enter the Thailand 4.0 era of high-value products.
Mrs Atchaka spoke after meeting the newly installed British ambassador to Thailand, Brian Davidson, and the director of trade and investment in Bangkok, Marcus Winsley.
"The sectors the British investors say they are interested in include aircraft production and fashion design," she said.
British investment in aircraft production is expected to play a major role in making Thailand the aviation hub of Asean.
Mrs Atchaka said the British experience in fashion and design would support Thailand to upgrade its garment and textile business in creating its own brands and moving into the high end of the industry.
Britain is also interested in the energy-saving and manufacturing sectors, saying Thailand has strong potential, she said.
"They are interested in investing in targeted industries that the government supports by giving investment privileges via the Board of Investment," Mrs Atchaka said.
Besides investment, Thailand and Britain are also cooperating on research and development that is expected to help create new knowledge and innovations eventually, she added.
Mr Davidson said British investors are not only interested in new investment in the targeted sectors but also want to expand their existing investment in Thailand as the kingdom is seen as the centre of the Asean region.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Britain ranks as Thailand's second-biggest trade partner in the EU at US$7 billion a year.
"From now on, British investors will focus more on the Asean region as there is not only Thailand but also neighbouring countries with whom we want to tighten relationships," Mr Davidson said.
He said the smooth charter referendum would be another positive factor to improve the image and outlook of Thai investment as foreign investors are more confident in Thailand as it is moves on its roadmap to an election as planned.