PM assures South Koreans of friendly investing climate

PM assures South Koreans of friendly investing climate

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (right) and South Korea's Paik Ungyu celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations. Photo courtesy of Government House
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (right) and South Korea's Paik Ungyu celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations. Photo courtesy of Government House

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha Wednesday urged South Korean investors to ramp up investment and trade with Thailand and pledged to facilitate their investment in the country.

Gen Prayut met Paik Ungyu, South Korea's trade, industry and energy minister, who led 180 South Korean investors to join a seminar on the 60th anniversary of South Korea-Thailand diplomatic relations.

Speaking at the Maekyung Thailand Forum, the premier said the government is developing the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) for innovative and high-technology industries that South Koreans should consider investing in.

The two-day forum ends today.

"The Thai government welcomes South Korean investment, and please don't worry that there is so much Japanese investment here, because the Thai government is willing to support and facilitate all investors, as well as South Korean investment," Gen Prayut said.

He said the political situation has stabilised and economic development has made progress, offering an opportunity for foreigners to rev up their investment in Thailand.

Gen Prayut said Thailand's economic development will follow a 20-year national plan, under which foreign investors can rest assured of continuity irrespective of government changes.

Under the 20-year plan's targets, the economy is projected to grow at an average rate of 5% a year. This will boost per capita GDP from US$6,000 (187,620 baht) to $15,000 by 2036.

To meet the goal, efforts must be made to strengthen the economy, such as enhancing the Thailand 4.0 development plan, improving the service sector and focusing on new urban areas to distribute growth and drive down inequality, as well as speeding up the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme.

Other targets include 3% growth in productivity and getting Thailand ranked inside the top 20 on the list of globally competitive countries. According to the rankings compiled by the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Thailand now ranks 27th out of 63 nations.

The 20-year strategy can be adjusted every five years, but there are provisions to make immediate changes in the event of an emergency.

According to the Board of Investment (BoI), investment applications from South Korean investors totalled 26 projects worth 3.3 billion baht last year.

The BoI approved promotional privileges for 31 projects worth 6 billion baht in 2017.

The agency reported that South Korean investment during 1990-2017 amounted to 230 projects worth $38.8 billion.

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