Four foreign firms flee to EEC
Four companies from Japan and China are expected to relocate their manufacturing facilities from China to Thailand to escape the escalating US-China trade war, says Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit.
"There are three Japanese companies -- Casio Computer, City Chain and Ricoh -- while Sailun Tire is from China," he said.
Mr Suriya said the trade war has had an effect all over the world in terms of global trade and investment, worrying operators.
"The trade war is benefiting Thailand as the country has not been added to the US trade watch list and remains the manufacturing hub for Southeast Asia," he said.
The ministry plans to meet Chinese and Japanese investors to invite them to invest in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
The Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro) will meet with the minister before July 31 to discuss investment policies and what is required of Japanese companies, said Mr Suriya.
He said Japan is the largest foreign investor in Thailand and the EEC is a destination for Japanese companies.
"I am confident Thai political issues will not affect investors' decisions in the EEC as each project has a long-term outlook," said Mr Suriya.
"The previous government launched the corridor three years ago and many foreign investors, mainly from Japan and China, seem to be very interested in investing in the EEC."
Both countries are expected to become major investors for the corridor, he said.
In addition, Mr Suriya said the drought crisis has yet to impact the industrial sector as the government has a water management plan and prepared water resources from former mining areas to support manufacturers and operators in Saraburi, Lamphun, Khon Kaen and Tak, covering 200 areas with 150 million cubic metres of water.
"The government is monitoring the drought situation and has a backup plan for the water management to raise confidence among manufacturers," he said.
The minister plans to discuss economic measures with the Finance Ministry to support small and medium-sized enterprises accessing the government's financial resources.