Thailand’s New PM to Expand Free Trade Agreements to Attract Global Investors

The new prime minister of Thailand stated that his government was dedicated to making his nation a top location for global investment. This included strengthening free trade agreements and the production of both conventional and electric automobiles.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin promised to renovate airports to enhance tourism, expand free trade agreements (FTA) to compete with neighbors, and make it easier for companies to hire more foreign workers in Thailand. he said:

“Thailand is open for business with all countries. We will give importance to negotiating more FTA, we are losing to Vietnam not because of the wage issue, but because we have fewer FTAs.”

Thailand has lagged behind other Southeast Asian nations in seeking trade agreements with significant markets, despite the fact that its economy is strongly dependent on exports. This is due to challenges such as claims of protectionism and mistreatment of migrant workers, as well as political unrest brought on by overthrown administrations.

Related: Chinese EV Makers Heavily Investing in Thailand

Srettha also stated that he is working to attract electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers to the country, which is a regional auto-assembly hub, but that he will not abandon manufacturing of internal combustion engine automobiles, as an assurance to companies from Japan, which has been a significant driver of the country’s car manufacturing industry for many years. He said:

“While we support the EV industry, we will also support traditional car manufacturing which is still important over the next 10 to 15 years. We will make Thailand a hub for the last phase of traditional car manufacturing.”

Thailand is projected to benefit from the transition to EVs, including $1.44 billion in Chinese investments since 2020 by companies such as BYD, MG, and Great Wall Motor, which have opened a new front in the automotive industry traditionally dominated by Japanese manufacturers. The Chinese wave is already reshaping Thailand’s car industry, as Chinese EVs integrate their own suppliers with local Thai manufacturers, including some with longstanding ties to Japanese companies.

Source: Reuters

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