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Foreign minister reaffirms Japan’s economic ties to Thailand

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Foreign minister reaffirms Japan’s economic ties to Thailand | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Foreign minister reaffirms Japan’s economic ties to Thailand
Phuket Gazette / Reuters


BANGKOK: Japan’s foreign minister arrived in Bangkok on Sunday aiming to reaffirm economic ties after Japanese investments in Thailand slumped last year amid political concerns as well as stiff competition emerging from more nimble neighbors.

Japan has historically been the largest investor in Thailand, Southeast Asia’s second biggest economy, which it sees as an important production base.

However, Japanese investments in Thailand nosedived by 81 percent last year, according to official data, something analysts say mirrors concern about Thailand’s economy which continues to struggle under prolonged military rule.

Increased competition from the region’s newer economies, such as Vietnam and Myanmar, is posing another threat to foreign investment in Thailand.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told a news conference after meeting his Thai counterpart at the beginning of a two-day visit that Thailand remained an important stakeholder.

“Thailand is a stakeholder that Japan cannot be without as many big and medium-sized Japanese firms from over 4,500 companies are based here,” Kishida told reporters.

Japan still came top in foreign direct investment (FDI) in Thailand last year, with total investments approved valued at more than 144 billion baht ($4.13 billion).

Kishida’s visit to Bangkok kicks off his tour of the region including Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.

It follows his visit to Beijing where China and Japan both expressed willingness to improve strained relations over conflicting territorial claims in the East China Sea.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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