THAIS only have one to two years left to invest in neighboring countries because China will be expanding its investment overseas after US President-elect Donald Trump starts implementing his policies, Thai News Agency quoted Nopporn Thepsithar, chairman of the Thai National Shippers Council, said saying at a seminar today.
The Chinese government is preparing to handle the impact of Trump’s policies who seems to put trade right at the top of his political agenda and will spread out its investment overseas with Thailand being among the destinations.
Those Thai businessmen who do not venture forth would have to adjust to the Thailand 4.0 policy, Mr Nopporn added.
Somyot Tangmelarb, vice chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries said at this seminar that Thais have a lot of opportunities to do business in neighboring countries but have to be confident that their product or services is marketable there. However they are helped by Thai product quality being well-accepted in these countries.
Currently some Thai businessmen have gone to invest in an industrial estate in Cambodia while others in service businesses in Myanmar such restaurants and coffee shops.
Meanwhile Kalin Sarasin, vice chairman of Thai Chamber of Commerce and also chairman of Tourism Authority of Thailand, said the chamber has a project to help businessmen find investment opportunities in neighboring countries and thinks the Foreign Ministry should be the state body supporting such investments aside from the Commerce Ministry and Board of Investment.
At the same time Somkiat Tangkitvanich, president of the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), told the seminar that the information TRDI obtained shows that in 2014 a total of 123 Thai listed companies invested in Asean countries out of 516 companies that did so with 600 companies having subsidiaries within Asean.
Most of those venturing forth into Asean are big companies with good profits and their new investments yield 11.1% profit. Among the businesses they invested in are in energy, food and drink, retail and export.
Mr Somkiat thinks the Thai government should adjust the way it supports trade and investment by selecting Thai executives who are ready to invest in neighboring countries and supporting them to do so. The government should also embed their best officials with them to collect information.
Moreover, the new investments should be business-to-business not just business-to-consumer through the opening of booths as has been happening in the past.
Top: Top executives speaking at the seminar organized by the Commerce Ministry’s Trade Policy Strategy Office and Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) today.