Thai PM seeks Japanese investment in country’s EV industry

Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is set to persuade top Japanese car manufacturers to invest in Thailand’s burgeoning electronic vehicle (EV) industry, boarded a plane to Japan yesterday. The visit, marking his first to Japan since his tenure as prime minister began, coincides with the 50 Years of the Asean-Japan Friendship and Cooperation Commemorative Summit.

Accompanying the 61 year old Thai premier on this trip are several Cabinet ministers, including Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit. Before departing, PM Srettha addressed the Royal Thai Air Force’s Wing 6, sharing his agenda and expectations for the trip.

“We have various topics to address. I am scheduled to meet with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet. I am also invited for a private dinner with Prince Abdul Mateen of Brunei, who is getting married next month.”

Crucial discussions with top Japanese companies, particularly those in the automotive sector, along with Panasonic and several others, are on the itinerary. My aim is to encourage more investment, particularly in Thailand’s EV industry.

The Bangkok-born prime minister also revealed that several Thai business magnates would join him on the trip. They will engage in discussions with their Japanese equivalents. These include Pornwut Sarasin, the president of Honda Automobile Thailand, and Kalin Sarasin, the chairman of Toyota Motor Thailand Co’s Board of Directors.

Upon being queried about Thailand’s economic prospects, PM Srettha expressed optimism, stating, The country will see the light at the end of the tunnel. There is always hope for economic recovery. The government carries the expectations of over 60 million people.

Economy push

He further added that the government is duty-bound to make continuous efforts to boost the economy. The Thai PM also acknowledged Japan’s significant investments in Thailand over the past five decades.

While in Japan, PM Srettha aims to fortify bilateral trade and investment through various discussions. He also announced a visa-free policy to ease travel for Japanese business people looking to invest in Thailand.

As per his schedule, The Thai premier will meet with the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry today and deliver a speech at the Thailand-Japan Investment Forum. Subsequent talks with business leaders from Japan’s premier companies like Toyota Motor Corporation, Honda Motor, Suzuki, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Mitsui, and Kubota are lined up.

PM Srettha will attend the summit on Sunday, and the following day, he will meet the Japanese Emperor and Empress at the Imperial Palace before heading back to Thailand, reported Bangkok Post.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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