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Thailand’s PM says committed to attracting major foreign investors

Thai prime minister Srettha Thavisin stressed foreign policy would be neutral and not take sides between US and China. (AP pic)

BANGKOK: Thailand’s new prime minister Srettha Thavisin on Friday said his government was committed to introducing the necessary changes to make the country a major destination for foreign investment, including pursuing more free trade agreements.

Srettha said in a wide-ranging speech at a forum that his government would improve infrastructure and water management, upgrade airports to attract tourism, expand trade pacts to compete with neighbours, and make it easier for companies to hire more foreign workers in Thailand.

He stressed foreign policy would be neutral and not take sides between US and China, adding that Japan was a major power that Thailand was committed to, given its long history as the country’s top investor.

The real estate tycoon also said he was making efforts to draw electric vehicle makers to the country but would not neglect manufacturing of traditional autos, in an assurance to companies from Japan, the key driver of its car manufacturing industry.

Sretta also stressed the need to expand markets for Thailand’s agriculture goods and to support farmers long laden with debt, but stressed there would be no policy of price guarantees for their produce as with previous governments, unless in the time of crisis.

He opened the address stating the country’s constitution needed to be amended to address political divisions and chronic economic disparities.