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PM Prayut aims to boost business, investment in official visit to Japan

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is hoping to boost bilateral investment and business links with Japan during his three-day official visit this week.  Besides discussions on bilateral and regional issues, the visit is aimed at boosting ties and economic relations between the two countries and lifting Japan’s confidence in Thailand.  High on the agenda is also the signing of two agreements on infrastructure development projects.
 
For this visit, which takes place on February 8-10, Prime Minister Prayut is travelling with more 50 business delegates to oversee the signing of two major agreements on railway project development and business cooperation.  In addition to talks with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Thai prime minister will also be meeting lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) and private sector groups.  Separate meetings will also take place with senior figures from Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Honda, and Marubeni.
 
Significantly, both nations’ prime ministers will oversee the signing ceremony of a memorandum of intent (MOI) on cooperation in a rail system development.  The planned East-West Economic Corridor railway routes run from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi (Ban Phu Nam Ron), Bangkok to Aranyaprathet in Sa Kaeo, and Bangkok to Laem Chabang in Chon Buri.
 
Another highlight will be an agreement over Japan’s increased investment role in the Dawei infrastructure project in Myanmar, as well as a rail link investment running east to west from Vietnam to Myanmar.
 
Thai Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula said recently that Japan had agreed to develop the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ).  Japan is to hold an equal share after replacing Italian-Thai Development plc.  
 
“Japan intends to participate in the project in terms of both technical and financial support.  This marks a big move for the Dawei Project,” said Mr. Pridiyathorn, co-chairman of the Joint High-Level Committee in Dawei development.
 
Thailand is hopeful that Japan will provide soft loans to finance construction of an 86-mile-long road linking Ban Phu Nam Ron to Dawei.  A memorandum of cooperation is to be signed between the Japan External Trade Organization and the Joint Committee of Thai Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Industries, and the Thai Bankers Association.
 
Earlier in February, Prime Minister Prayut welcomed the visiting Co-Chairmen of Japan-Thailand Trade and Economic Committee of Keidanren, Toshiyuki Shiga and Eizo Kobayashi, at the Government House.   During the meeting, he underscored Japan’s role as the top foreign investor in Thailand and the Thai government’s continued support for them in terms of policy.  He also reaffirmed the government’s intention to implement reform and move Thailand toward sustainable democracy in accordance with the announced roadmap. The Japanese private sector affirmed confidence in Thailand.   Both sides also agreed to collaborate in promoting trade and investment in Southeast Asia.
 
See the original article at Thailand e-Focus

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