by Bupha Ravirot
(Thaindian) - ‘Thailand used to be the No. 1 investor in this region. Now, we have fallen to No. 3,” said Mr Phairush.
Despite of mounting tensions with Cambodia, Thai business have to pay more attention into the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Co-operation Strategy (Acmecs) to involve in and expand trade and investment in the Indochina region.
Phairush Burapachaisri, the secretary-general of the Thai Chamber of Commerce revealed that in the region Thailand was No. 1 investor now fallen to No.3. the lack of attention to building up their investments in the region, leaving their counterparts from countries like China, Vietnam, South Korea, as well as Taiwan, to flock to the region.
Thai business investors will be given full support from the government once they need to explore trade, invest as well as relocate invesment in the region including Cambodia, Viroon Tejapaibul, Deputy Commerce Minister said.
“We believe the temple row would be settled next month as the two governments have sent a signal that they want to settle the deal peacefully,” said Mr Viroon. ”Business will move on and Cambodia has a diversity of rich natural resources. Above all, it offers very cheap labour costs.”
Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Co-operation Strategy or Acmecs programme launched in the year 2003 aimed at cooperating framework amongst Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam to utilize member countries’ diverse strengths and to promote balanced development in the sub-region. Annual trade in this region was estimated at over US$10 billion in 2007.
The executive chairman of the Export-Import Bank of Thailand, Narongchai Akrasanee said the bank takes the responsibility to provide financial support to Thai industries who are interested in investment in neighbouring countries. In May 2008, the bank extended loans worth a total of 13 billion baht to Thai businesses to invest in international projects in the region: in Burma made up 5.56 billion baht, Laos 4.89 billion baht, Cambodia 2.13 billion baht, and Vietnam 425.25 million baht.
Chairman of the Thai Business Council for Cambodia, Somsak Ringruengsin said that Thai still have great opportunity to invest in the capital city, Phnom Penh though the major investors are those from Chinese and Vietnamese counterparts.