PM to visit Japan to rebuild investor confidence after flood crisis


BANGKOK, March 5 — Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will visit Japan on Tuesday to strengthen bilateral ties and revive Japanese investor confidence in Thailand after last year’s flood crisis. 

Ms Yingluck and her entourage, including Deputy Prime Minister/Commerce Minister Kittaratt Na Ranong and a group of business executives, will make an official working visit to Japan from tomorrow through Friday to enhance the two countries bilateral relations and to rebuild confidence among Japanese investors, especially regarding the Thai government’s measures to handle flood situations, after the severe floods that hit the country last year.

The prime minister will have an audience with Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito, as well as meet with her Japanese counterpart Yoshihiko Noda to discuss a wide range of issues covering mutual interests.

The Thai prime minister will use the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Japan to promote the strategic partnership between the two countries in terms of political ties, security concerns, the economy and social aspects at both bilateral and multilateral levels

The focus will be on measures supporting development of linkages between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Mekong Sub-region connectivity, especially regarding the rehabilitation of the economies of both countries, as both were  impacted by natural disasters in 2011.

Ms Yingluck will also use the opportunity to confirm to the Japanese private sector that the Thai government is prepared for future floods.

The Japanese private sector is also to be encouraged to take part in rehabilitation projects for Thailand’s infrastructure.

The premier was scheduled to deliver a speech at a seminar on investment opportunities in Thailand. The event will be attended by many members of the Japanese business community.

She will also meet with a leading company in the tourism sector, and companies planning to invest in Thailand, as well as business organisations such as the Japan Finance Corporation (JFC) and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) to seek more cooperation to develop Thailand’s competitiveness as the country is a major Japanese production base and product distribution centre.

The visit of the Thai prime minister coincides with the anniversary of last year’s earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan on March 11. Ms Yingluck is scheduled to visit affected areas in Sendai, Miyaki Prefecture.

She will provide moral support to the people affected, as well as meet with Thai workers affected by the floods in Thailand who have been transferred to temporarily work in Japan.

Ms Yingluck was scheduled to return to Thailand on Friday.