PM assures Japan of Thai govt support for Japanese entrepreneurs
BANGKOK, Jan 11 –Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Wednesday reassured Japan’s visiting Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano that Thailand would complete its rehabilitation of flood-damaged infrastructure within six months.
She also told the Japanese minister that the government has prepared a credit line of US$1.2 million for Japanese entrepreneurs and investors whose factories have been impacted by the flood crisis last year.
Ms Yingluck welcomed Mr Edano at Government House Wednesday afternoon as he formally thanked Thailand for extending assistance to Japanese victims of the massive earthquake and tsunami of March 11 last year.
The Japanese minister also expressed sympathy for Thailand’s flood victims and asked about rehabilitation measures for the industrial sector and the international business community which operate their businesses in Thailand.
Thailand’s plan for economic revival was important for the entire region and was in the spotlight by many countries worldwide, he said.
The Japanese minister advised that Thailand should put comprehensive flood-prevention measures in place in the future.
Ms Yingluck took the opportunity to thank Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, government and people for helping Thailand during its hardships in the form of financial assistance, relief supplies and experts.
The flood crisis caused extensive damage, but the country’s strong economic fundamentals as well as helping hands from all parties have helped Thailand get back to its feet quickly, the Thai premier said.
The government targeted achieving gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 4-5 per cent and its post-flood revival plan has focused on industry and investment, she said.
Thailand has prepared a credit line of US$1.2 million for Japanese investors who were affected by the flood, Ms Yingluck said, adding that damaged infrastructure, including roads and hospitals, would be returned to normal within six months.
Other measures include tax exemption for imported machinery, and fast tracks for experts on flood prevention who would facilitate quick revival, said the premier.
As for short term water management measures, Ms Yingluck said her government will invest Bt120 billion this year to improve flood-prevention dykes and dams while some Bt300 billion would be spent for sustainable water management programme to deal with floods in the future.