Srettha eager to be pitchman to woo investors
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Srettha eager to be pitchman to woo investors

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin insists he will take on the role of a salesman to attract foreign investors to Thailand.

Speaking at the Thailand Economic Outlook 2024 symposium held by the Nation Group on Wednesday, he said Thailand needs to build confidence among foreign investors to attract them, especially by reducing regulatory constraints to market entry and investment.

Large multinationals such as Tesla, Google and Microsoft have invested in many countries by using international investment principles, which Thailand should aim to follow, said Mr Srettha.

In addition to diplomacy, the Foreign Affairs Ministry must also act as a salesman or intermediary in free trade agreement negotiations, while the Commerce Ministry needs to work to open doors for trade and investment, he said.

Thai ambassadors need to travel more to meet with investors, said Mr Srettha, adding he would try to take entrepreneurs with him on overseas trips if it is legal to do so.

In a recent talk with the Stock Exchange of Thailand, he said the country should work to become a hub for foreign companies to list on the bourse, calling for more roadshows to publicise investment incentives and privileges for foreign investors.

Mr Srettha said the government has a policy to triple the net income of Thai farmers within four years by opening foreign trade markets, particularly in the Middle East and Africa.

Thailand ranks 64th in global food security according to the 2022 Global Food Security Index, which assesses and reports on 113 countries.

Regarding fisheries, he said Thailand used to export 350 billion baht worth of fishery products annually, while importing 150 billion baht.

"We complied with and actually exceeded required conditions regarding illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, but we export only 8% of this sector to the European Union, which demanded the IUU probe. This needs to be fixed," said Mr Srettha.

In terms of the country's energy transition, Mr Srettha said Thailand needs to support greater use of renewable and clean energy, though he admits this will be a challenge.

Regarding domestic tourism, he proposed extending the closing time of entertainment venues to revitalise tourism sentiment during the upcoming high season.

The government also seeks to reduce social disparities and inequality by supporting rights in the workplace, as well as by providing investment incentives to foreign investors, said Mr Srettha.

Infrastructure investment to mitigate floods and drought is another government agenda, which could increase GDP growth over the next three months, he said.

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