Somkid says key projects on course
Deputy PM assures Japanese investors
Osaka: Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak reaffirmed Thursday to 500 Japanese investors that the development projects initiated by this government will continue, saying it's unlikely that any political parties would be foolish enough to discontinue projects which are vital to the country's future economic growth.
In his keynote speech at a seminar organised by the Board of Investment in Osaka, he reiterated his confidence that the significant policies initiated by this government, such as the Thailand 4.0 initiative, the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and Southern Economic Corridor, will be carried out.
Mr Somkid said the EEC was instrumental in drawing foreign investment to reach 680 billion baht in 2018, up from 290 billion in 2017, with Japanese investment in the EEC making up 44 billion baht.
Japan is the largest foreign investor in Thailand, with total investment of US$2.2 billion in 2018. Japan is also the second-largest trading partner of Thailand, with two-way trade amounting to $60 billion.
Some 1.66 million Japanese tourists visited Thailand last year, while Thai tourists to Japan totalled 1.13 million.
"I am quite confident that those significant policies will not at all get stalled, as they are instrumental in propelling Thai economic growth in the future," Mr Somkid said. "No political party is likely to be a fool to interrupt their development."
According to Mr Somkid, the government has established the foundation for development under the national 20-year strategic plan and the law has already been issued to make sure that the EEC project will be implemented by the next government.
He said the government has laid down the cooperation framework for the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy and the Greater Mekong Subregion, as well as the Mekong-Japan strategic partnership.
Thailand plays an active role supporting the Japan-initiated Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy under which the two nations will develop infrastructure and connectivity such as the high-speed train linking Bangkok and Chiang Mai and the high-speed train in the East-West Economic Corridor. Thailand has also pledged to join Japan in settling the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership this year.
"I believe the general election will pave the way for Thailand 's stability in all dimensions, be it politics, economics, trade and investment, which can create more confidence among foreign investors," Mr Somkid said.