PM to court EV investors in Germany

PM to court EV investors in Germany

Mercedes Benz among govt targets

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is stepping out of his daughter's electric car he drove to Government House last Wednesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is stepping out of his daughter's electric car he drove to Government House last Wednesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

The government is aiming to attract car manufacturers in Germany to invest in the electric vehicle (EV) industry in Thailand during Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin's official trip to the country next month, Deputy Prime Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara said on Saturday.

Mr Parnpree, also minister of foreign affairs, is currently on an official trip to Germany, which started last Wednesday and wraps up today.

The trip was organised not only for diplomatic purposes but also to prepare for Mr Srettha's visit on March 15, said Mr Parnpree.

The Thai government planned to propose many investment projects, including the Land Bridge megaproject, and investments in semiconductors, a data centre and EV manufacturing, to German investors.

In terms of EVs, Mr Parnpree said the government hoped car manufacturers in Germany would invest in the EV industry in Thailand because Germany is considered an important automobile producer.

Regarding the country's registration as a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to promote trade and investment, Mr Parnpree said this matter will take time.

"The process may take up to two years. Thailand must apply first to express our intention to become a member," he said.

When the application is received, Thailand will have a greater chance of becoming a member of the 38-member OECD, which would create standards for Thailand in terms of the environment, finance, and trade negotiations with developed countries, he said.

One of the stops on his own trip included a visit to Mercedes-Benz in Bremen on Friday. This factory has been the base for the brand's plug-in hybrid and EV car manufacturing since 2019.

During his inspection, Mr Parnpree said Thailand was keen to push the use of EV cars and is ready to support Mercedes-Benz to invest in Thailand.

The minister also exchanged views with Michael Frieß, Head of Production and Location Representative of the factory, on the brand's strategy for EVs and sustainability. They both agreed on the importance of using clean energy.

Meanwhile, in Thailand, the PM has said he wants to turn the country into a "Future Mobility Hub", spokesman Chai Wacharonke said on Saturday.

The EV Policy Board on Wednesday also agreed on measures to encourage energy storage system (ESS) manufacturing investment, which would let eligible investors and operators receive funds from the Board of Investment. They can submit their investment plan to the government until 2027 under the agreement, said Mr Chai.

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