Hong Kong 'keen on investment'

Hong Kong 'keen on investment'

Lo: Hong Kong free trade area needed
Lo: Hong Kong free trade area needed

Investors from Hong Kong aim to plough money into more than 100 projects in Thailand, notably in the government's ambitious Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), says the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

Chairman Vincent Lo, who led a delegation of investors from Hong Kong and Shanghai to a seminar on Monday entitled "Thailand-Hong Kong-Shanghai Strategic Partnership on One Belt, One Road", said that investors from the former have been conducting feasibility studies on more than 100 projects in Thailand.

The projects focus largely on infrastructure development in the EEC, including high-speed rail, ports and property development.

Investors from Hong Kong are also interested in using Thailand as a manufacturing base and point of connectivity for tourism, Mr Lo said.

"We are confident in skilled Thai labour and we hope that economic cooperation will tighten, especially in the EEC," he said.

Mr Lo said the May 8-9 visit by investors reflects the intentions for concrete investment and a desire to cooperate both with the Thai government and business partners.

"Many investors from Hong Kong have already invested in Thailand, but some really want to study the promotional privileges offered by Thailand's Board of Investment (BoI)," Mr Lo said. "We also know that the BoI offers different privileges to each project; the biggest of which are for investment in high-tech projects."

He said the memorandums of understanding (MoUs) signed by the EEC Office and the HKTDC are intended to spur cooperation in the corridor.

HKTDC also pledged to offer assistance to Thai small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to upgrade their potential. HKTDC has already set up an office in Bangkok to help Thai SMEs, he said.

Mr Lo also called on Thailand and Hong Kong to initiate an Asean-Hong Kong Free Trade area in order to boost economic cooperation.

"We expect that the Asean-Hong Kong Free Trade Area will help underscore cooperation on trade and investment between Hong Kong and Thailand," he said.

Mr Lo said two-way trade between Thailand and Hong Kong would significantly grow from US$16.7 billion (578.7 billion baht).

According to the BoI, investors from Hong Kong invested 14 billion baht in the three provinces housing the EEC last year.

Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the EEC Office, said that based on the MoUs, cooperation between Thailand and Hong Kong would cover a wide range of infrastructure development projects.

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