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HSBC exec touts investing in Thailand

Thailand is still one of the most appealing countries for investors interested in Asia because of its planned infrastructure development, their impressive scale and the government’s desire to partner with the private sector, one of the top executives at Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) wrote last week.
 
James Cameron, head of the bank's Project and Export Finance in Asia-Pacific, said “for us and for our international clients, we do not see that [Thailand’s political situation] as being a material factor that is changing our current investment decision. It is obviously something that we are taking into account but it is in no way reducing our commitment to Thailand or our clients' interest in the country.”
 
Investment had been muted in 2014 because of political turmoil that included street protests and violence. After the military intervened in the political situation in May of that year, some investors reacted with caution, waiting to see what the new government’s policies would be towards business and foreign investment, and whether or not protests and violence would end.
 
Since the second half of last year, Thailand’s political situation has been mostly stable. Investment began flowing back into the country in the latter part of the year. Investment is one of the three major pillars of the Thai economy, along with consumption and exports. So far, investment has outperformed the other two pillars.
 
More gains and impressive growth are expected as far as investments are concerned because of the government’s plans for a massive infrastructure upgrade. The government has laid out transportation and logistics projects valued at over $2 billion that include high-speed rail lines along with improvements to ports, roads, airports and logistics services. In addition, water management and irrigation projects, new communications infrastructure and other developments are also on the drawing board and will be open to the private sector. The Kingdom’s economic planners have stated clearly that the preferred method for funding all of the infrastructure projects is public-private partnerships or PPPs.
 
Cameron said investments in infrastructure in Thailand are on HSBC's radar and the bank is looking for ways to get more involved with the private sector in the financing of these projects.
 
“HSBC has been looking at the infrastructure space very closely for a number of years now as we have identified it as a key opportunity for us. The main reason is that there is a significant requirement, and it is a consistent requirement, that we are seeing globally in term of countries requiring material volume of infrastructure to spend,” Cameron said.
 
See the original article at Thailand-Focus

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