Japanese car giants promise to use Thailand as production base

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BANGKOK – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the Ministry of Industry to be responsible for developing a plan to promote investment in the automotive industry with a focus on the manufacturing of future cars.

The PM on Monday met with high-ranking executives of four automotive companies including Toyota, Isuzu, Nissan and Honda at Government House. The meeting is part of the “Prime Minister Meets CEOs” project aimed at exchanging opinions about their problems and obstacles of doing business in Thailand. The premier also took this opportunity to clarify the government’s economic, trade and investment policies.

After the meeting, Permanent Secretary for Commerce Chutima Bunyapraphasara said all of the executives, whose companies had combined exports of around 58% of Thailand’s total car exports, confirmed to use Thailand as the production base with a plan to expand their investment in vehicles, especially future cars such as electric, hybrid and environmentally friendly cars. The promotion of future cars was the government’s policy to support and promote the manufacturing of vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, said the permanent-secretary.

The PM told the companies’ executives that the government was urgently revising regulations while promoting free and fair trade in support of foreign investment in Thailand. He said the Ministry of Industry had been tasked with developing a long-term plan to make Thailand the regional hub of future car production.