Thai investors urged to expand in neighbouring countries

Economy June 19, 2017 01:00

By Somluck Srimalee
The Nation

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Labour-intensive industries, agricultural processing, electricity, garments, hospitality, retail, and spa are potential sectors where Thai investors can expand their investments in CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam), private experts who have invested in the CLMV countries said.



“We welcome Thai investors to expand their investment in agriculture, organic farmer, energy, tourism, and hospitality business,” Phouvong Korasack, president of Mittaphap Development Agriculture Co Ltd, who is also president of Laos Agro Processing Association, and board of director of Laos National Chamber of Commerce and Industry told The Nation.

He added that Laos has abundant land and resources and was looking for investments from foreigners to transfer innovation and technology for Laos’ agricultural products to tap export markets.

“We see Thailand has the opportunity to expand investments in Laos, especially in agriculture and organic farming, as Laos enjoys Generalised System of Preferences [GSP] from Europe and the US. Thai businesses can invest in Laos and export to Europe and US taking advantage of the GSP,” Phouvong added.

Vichit Yathip, president of Thai-Myanmar Cultural and Economic Cooperation Association, said labour cost is lower in Myanmar when compared with Thailand. This offers an opportunity for Thai investors to expand investment in labourintensive industries in this country, while Myanmar also needs more investment to develop the country’s infrastructure.

“Myanmar also has natural resources, especially coal, as a result we plan to expand our investment in coalgenerated electricity in Myanmar of US$6 billion,” TTCL Plc’s chief finance officer Gobchai Tanasugarn said.

Currently, TTCL has invested in turbine combinedcycle power plant with total capacity of 121 megawatts in Yangon, owned by its subsidiary Toyo Thai Power Myanmar Co Ltd.

Thailand’s Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana said that Thailand plans to collaborate with Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Cambodia SMEs to learn about how to do business and how they can join hands with Thai SMEs to set up joint ventures to develop their value chain and supply chain for longterm benefits.

Thailand’s Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said that Thailand plans to collaborate with CLMV countries to create a master plan to synergise trade and investment. 

“We aim to boost trade between Thailand and CLMV by 100 per cent from now and 2020. This will also boost the investment value and drive regional economic growth,” she said.