Press Releases : Prominent Thai Businesses Reaffirmed Thailand as the UK’s Significant Economic Partner in ASEAN during Recent Visit to the UK Media Center

Press Releases : Prominent Thai Businesses Reaffirmed Thailand as the UK’s Significant Economic Partner in ASEAN during Recent Visit to the UK

Prominent Thai Businesses Reaffirmed Thailand as the UK’s Significant Economic Partner in ASEAN during Recent Visit to the UK

                                On 21-26 June 2014, Mr. Phongsak Assakul, Senior Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade of Thailand, led a delegation of top executives from leading Thai businesses including among others, Central Group, CPF, Thai Beverage, Bangkok Bank, Thanachart Bank, Mitpholr Group, Sea Value Group, to visit the United Kingdom. The visit aims to enhance confidence in Thailand’s political developments and economic potentials among British public and private sectors as well as to explore investment opportunities for Thai businesses in the United Kingdom.

               During the visit, the delegation was briefed by the Royal Thai Embassy, London on the overview and prospects of Thai-UK economic relations. They also had a constructive and comprehensive discussion with the British delegation, led by His Excellency Mr. Mark Kent, British Ambassador to Thailand, and senior representatives from the United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the U.K.-ASEAN Business Council. The said Dialogue focused on how the two countries could excel dynamism of the two-way trade and investment exchanges.   The delegation also engaged with almost a hundred British business people in a panel-discussion format and met with the British Members of Parliament, during which they reassured the British side of their attesting confidence in the progress made in Thailand’s political and economic arena over the past month.

               In addition, the business delegation had a productive meeting with their British counterparts from the financial, food and renewable energy sectors to explore further investment potentials in the U.K. They also visited the Taste of Thailand booth within the so-called “Taste of London” festival, a highly anticipated international food, drinks and services showcase.

               Overall, the visit was a remarkable success. It attracted high attention from the UK public and private sectors alike: high turn-out of representatives from major British companies, already invested or interested to invest in Thailand, in the panel-discussion, networking events and proactive follow-up interaction afterwards. Both British public and private sector were in agreement that notwithstanding the political situation, Thailand remains one of the UK’s most important economic partner in Southeast Asia, as the region’s second largest economy and gateway to the emerging ASEAN Economic Community. To this end, the British side expressed commitment to intensify bilateral trade and investment ties to the mutual interest of both countries and economies.

               The Thai businesses expressed their confidence in positive developments as well as business and tourism environment which have returned to normalcy and on the upswing since May. They also highlighted and credited NCPO’s supportive economic measures as providing a strong boost to the economy and opening economic opportunities for foreign investors. These include, for example, the establishment of the BOI Committee to review pending foreign investment applications, comprehensive review of the large-scale investment projects in infrastructure development and water management, as well as debt payment under the rice-pledging scheme which increased domestic consumption. The British side, in response, expressed enthusiasm to further explore these trade and investment potentials.

               The British members of the press also indicated their interest in the visit and its outcome. Financial Times and the Economist interviewed Mr. Piyabutr Cholvijarn, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trade of Thailand as representative of the delegation on this matter. In sum, Mr. Cholvijarn indicated that the visit has been a real success. There was a consensus among Thai and British public sectors that Thailand’s economy is back on track. They also acknowledged efforts and progress made in restoring full-fledged democracy in Thailand and encouraged steps to be taken towards this end.