Japanese investors keen on EEC and 4.0

Japanese investors keen on EEC and 4.0

JCC president calls for immediate stimuli

Mr Nakano, second left, with Mr Somkid, second right, as the latter reassures the JCC not to worry about economic development.
Mr Nakano, second left, with Mr Somkid, second right, as the latter reassures the JCC not to worry about economic development.

Japanese investors have urged the government to continue key economic policies including megaproject developments, the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and the Thailand 4.0 initiative.

On Monday Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak met with Shinji Nakano, president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC), Bangkok, who called for government stimulus measures as soon as possible.

"I reassured the JCC that despite the coalition government, the new government is committed to maintaining policies to develop infrastructure, the flagship EEC and Thailand 4.0 initiative, as well as human resource development," said Mr Somkid.

Mr Somkid told the JCC not to worry about the new coalition government's effectiveness, pointing out an economic cabinet has already been established, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, to drive economic development.

Japanese investors also expressed concerns about the government's policy on minimum daily wages. Mr Somkid said any rises in minimum wages are the responsibility of the tripartite wage committee.

The JCC also reported to Mr Somkid a survey on Japanese business sentiment in the second half of this year that showed an improvement after slowing down in the first half because of their worries about the trade war, political instability in Thailand and the baht appreciation.

The improvement was attributed largely to the successful formation of the new government.

Kobsak Pootrakool, deputy secretary-general to Gen Prayut on political affairs, said Japanese businesses were also concerned about trade tensions between the US and China after US President Donald Trump said last Thursday he would impose a 10% tariff on US$300 billion of Chinese imports from Sept 1, marking an end to a truce in the trade war struck in June.

Mr Kobsak said the unabated trade tensions may result in Japanese investors relocating factories to Thailand or establish headquarters here. He said the Board of Investment must establish a special team to entice relocation from China.

Mr Kobsak said the JCC also invited Mr Somkid to head an economic team to visit Japan, possibly this October.

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