Connecting American companies with Thailand
In Southeast Asia, all are excited about the ASEAN Economic Community, a combined market with over 620 million people. The OECD has forecasted that ASEAN growth will continue to be robust over 2015-2019 at an average of 5.6%. This growth will be powered by domestic demand growth, private consumption and investment. The vibrancy of ASEAN has attracted attention from foreign trade and investment, including the United States.
Located in the center of mainland ASEAN,Thailand is logistically advantaged, including with the country’s land links to Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia, and through Cambodia to Vietnam. Such existing and well-developed networks of highways and rail links, as well as those in the pipeline for further development, mean low cost of transportation. Thailand has skilled labor, effective warehousing and shipping services. Goods will be distributed to ASEAN countries with zero tariff. Thailand is one of the pioneers equipped for ASEAN Single Window that will facilitate customs procedures.
On April 10, Mr. Pisan Manawapat, Ambassador of Thailand to the United States, along with Mr. Pornpong Kanittanond, Consul – General in New York, Ms. Korbsiri Iamsuri, Consul (Investment Promotion) and Mr. Somdet Susomboon, Consul (Commercial), met with 21 representatives of leading American companies in various industries at a round table organized by Ms. Meghan Hagberg, Senior Vice President of the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) in New York.
Ambassador Pisan updated the participants on Thailand’s economic situation and its policies to reassure the business community of Thailand’s continued support for foreign businesses and efforts to enhance Thailand’s competitiveness and prepare for opportunities and challenges of the emerging ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) that will be officially realized at the end of this year. He also informed the participants of the progress of the amendments of regulations and laws, investment promotion measuresand incentives, energy reforms, special economic zones, infrastructures development, and Digital Economy.
During the discussion, Mr. Somdet, Consul (Commercial), explained Thailand’s trade promotion and trade facilitation efforts, emphasizing that his office is ready to assist in connecting American companies to trade with Thailand. Ms. Korbsiri, Consul (Investment), also stressed her office’s readiness to work with American businesses and talked about special privileges for those investing in Thailand.