KCCI: Korea poised for Thai FDI rise

World
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KCCI: Korea poised for Thai FDI rise

Technology transfers offered for 4.0 move

Trade and investment between Thailand and South Korea are expected to reach a new era of economic cooperation, especially under the government’s scheme for Thailand 4.0 and plans to build up the 12 targeted industries, says Park Yongmaan, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI).

“South Korea will play an important role in helping Thai investors with technology transfer to achieve 4.0 standards as well as in developing the 12 targeted industries,” Mr Park said.

Yesterday, 500 companies from South Korea participated in a seminar titled “Thailand-Korea Business Forum”, organised by the Board of Investment (BoI), KCCI and the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra).

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in agreed to increase trade between the two countries to US$20 million in 2020, up from $14.1 in 2018.

“Thailand is centrally located in Asean, as well as a gateway to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam,” said Mr Park.

“Cooperation between the two countries is a significant step in the economic development of Thai industries and towards increasing two-way trade.”

He said South Korea will organise the Asean-Korea Summit meeting in November, aiming to strengthen cooperation between the country and the region.

Kotra signed a joint statement with the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) on promoting investment, especially in the EEC of Innovation (EECI) and EEC of Digital (EECD).

Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the EEC Office, said the two premiers plan to sign an agreement during the summit in November.

“The agreement will cover four areas, comprising technology transfer from South Korean companies to Thailand; startup investment between Thailand and Korea; development in EECI and EECD; and human resource development,” said Mr Kanit.

Duangjai Asawachintachit, secretary-general of BoI, said Thailand is inviting South Korean companies to visit the EEC provinces — Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong — as the government seeks further EEC investment.

“Thailand’s location Southeast Asia is ideal for attracting new investment flows. The government has started developing many megaprojects worth $62-67 billion during 2015-22.” said Ms Duangjai.

“All megaprojects will facilitate local and foreign companies who want to start businesses in Thailand.”

She said Thailand has such a strong supply chain with many industries such as automotive, electronics, petrochemicals and biochemical sectors.

“Thailand has 18 carmakers who use the country as a production hub for exports. Thailand is the largest car producer in Southeast Asia and ranks 12th globally.”

“Thailand’s electronics industry is ranked third in Southeast Asia and 13th spot globally,” said Ms Duangjai.

She added the country’s petrochemicals industry is ranked as first in Southeast Asia and 16th globally.

Thailand’s biochemicals industry is ranked third in Southeast Asia and seventh globally.

“The country has many industries that have opportunities for companies across the world and the BoI is confident about positioning Thailand as the strongest destination for a foreign direct investment in this region,” said Ms Duangjai.

Chang Ji-Sang, president of the Korea Institute for Industrial Economic and Trade, said South Korea and Thailand have had strong diplomatic relations for many decades.

South Korea has its new southern policy in an expansion of investment to Southeast Asia, including Thailand.

South Korea invested in Thailand to reach a peak at $584 million in 2011.

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