PM courts foreign cash as he hobnobs with elite at Apec meet

PM courts foreign cash as he hobnobs with elite at Apec meet

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Friday told his Canadian and Australian counterparts that Thailand is ready to welcome foreign investors amid a global trend for business relocation to the Asean region.

Mr Srettha met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on Thursday morning at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in San Francisco, government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said on Friday.

Mr Chai said both sides hoped to strengthen cooperation in every area and believed Apec would generate many opportunities for both countries.

Mr Srettha said Thailand's delegation had attended the summit to announce that it is ready to welcome foreign investment following signs of a global trend of businesses relocating to the region. Many leading international automobile manufacturers are also setting up production bases for electric vehicles (EVs) in Thailand.

On this occasion, the premier met with several leading EV makers who have expressed an interest in moving some or all of their capacity to the kingdom.

The Thai government already has a reputation for offering incentives and privileges to promote Thailand as a regional hub for a number of emerging technologies, Mr Chai said.

Mr Chai also said Thailand is ready to strengthen bilateral ties with Canada and discussed opportunities for increased cooperation under Canada's Indo-Pacific Strategy and the Asean-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Meanwhile, Mr Srettha also met Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and discussed investment opportunities in Thailand.

Mr Chai said the prime minister had accepted an invitation to participate in the upcoming special summit to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Asean-Australian relations in Australia in March.

The two leaders acknowledged that significant progress had been made towards an advanced FTA, as well as closer people-to-people exchanges, before highlighting tourism as a pivotal policy for both governments.

Meanwhile, Cherdchai Chaivaivid, Director General of the Department of International Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Mr Srettha sat next to President Joe Biden at the Apec Gala Dinner.

He said the premier had enjoyed a long chat with the president during the two-hour event.

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