Thai official: more U.S. firms keen to invest in Thailand

More American companies are interested in shifting their investments to Thailand, according to an aide to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who said that increasing numbers of U.S. executives were seeking meetings with the Board of Investment in recent months.

Kobsak Pootrakool, Deputy Secretary-General to the Prime Minister, said that executives from many American firms had asked to meet Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, who oversees the economic ministries and the Board of Investment (BoI). The requests have come during the past several months. The executives said their purpose was to solicit assistance from the government to facilitate relocating their businesses.

“The government’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) initiative and new investment policies to promote high technology, R&D, innovation, headquarters, and human resource development have made Thailand more enticing to foreign investment,” Kobsak said.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid said Thailand has become more attractive to foreign investors. He noted that high-ranking executives from one of America’s top five digital companies as well as, have visited Thailand and are keen to invest in the country.

Last week, Patrick Gelsinger, Chief Executive of Palo Alto-based software firm VMware, met with Somkid to ask for cooperation and support on human resource development in information technology.

VMware proposed to help the government develop cybersecurity and cloud services, digital infrastructure in the EEC, and an e-government development plan, Kobsak said.

In 2018, U.S. investors applied for 38 projects worth $11 billion in 2018, of which $605 million was approved for all 38.

Two-way trade between Thailand and the U.S. totaled $44.5 billion in 2018.

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