Japanese PM arrives today; bilateral talks set for this evening

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BANGKOK, Jan 17 – Thai and high-level Japanese are scheduled to hold bilateral talks this evening – the highlight of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s two-day visit to Bangkok.

The Japanese embassy here said Mr Abe’s Southeast Asian trip which includes Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia is to enhance partnership between Japan and the region, and to lay groundwork for the Japan-ASEAN commemorative summit in Tokyo in December.

Describing Thailand as a gateway to Asia and a hub of Japanese corporate activities, the embassy said the two countries share fundamental values and economic interests.

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will lead the Thai team for this evening’s talks with the Japanese delegation, to be headed by Mr Abe who arrives Bangkok at 11.30 am today.

The Thai Board of Investment (BoI) said the stronger Japanese currency has compelled investors, particularly small- and medium-sized businesses, to invest overseas including Thailand.

Between 1970 and 2012, Japanese investors applied for investment promotional privileges for 7,302 projects with a combined investment of Bt2.7 trillion – about one-fourth of all foreign investment in Thailand making it the country’s biggest overseas investor.

Viboon Kromadit, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Amata Corporation PCL, said Mr Abe’s visit will boost the morale of Japanese investors in Thailand.

Nearly 60 per cent of foreign industries in Amata Industrial Estate are from Japan, he said, adding that more Japanese industrialists will relocate their investment to Thailand after the country’s current conflict with China.