Thailand discusses investment promotion with U.S., Russia

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Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha walks hand in hand with U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross.
Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha walks hand in hand with U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross.

BANGKOK – In addition to regional meetings, Thailand’s Prime Minister held talks with delegates from the United States and Russia on investment promotion, especially in S-Curve industries, according to the Thailand 4.0 model, as well as the reconsideration of the suspension of U.S. GSP benefits for Thailand.

Prior to the discussion, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has thanked the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, for leading U.S. investors to visit Thailand, stressing the mutual benefits both countries will receive from the expansion of partnerships, trade and investment cooperation. As a long-standing investor, who has contributed to Thailand’s economic development, the Thai government is willing to facilitate investments from U.S. companies, particularly in S-Curve industries such as aircraft and space, digital, biotechnology and medicine.

Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha greets Dmitry Medvedev the Prime Minister of Russia.
Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha greets Dmitry Medvedev the Prime Minister of Russia.

In a discussion with Mr. Ross, the Prime Minister said Thailand has policies in place to promote and facilitate private investments by local and international investors, and that the government has improved regulations and infrastructure development. He invited U.S. private firms to invest in infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia.

On the cancellation of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) privileges, previously granted to some export products from Thailand, the Prime Minister said the government is concerned regarding the consequences for the private sector and the general public, but the government understands the U.S. conditions. He asked the U.S., as a country with close relations, to reconsider the decision. The Secretary of Commerce said the U.S. is open to further discussion prior to the effective date in 6 months.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also held talks with the Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, during which he welcomed the improvements in Thailand-Russia relations, especially in economic affairs. The Thai PM invited Russian companies to invest in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor project in their specialized industries, such as national defense, digital technologies, the smart city system and medical equipment manufacture.

The Thai PM told Russian PM that Thailand is interested to export more food and farm products to Russia, and thanked Russia for their continued support by importing farm products from Thailand. He said the Thai authorities are willing to cooperate on the inspection of seafood factories in the hope of further expanding the trade, and is anticipates enhancing energy relations with Russia through the establishment of a joint energy committee. He also welcomed development of Thailand-Russia cooperation on security.

The Prime Minister of Russia congratulated Thailand on being the successful host of the ASEAN Summit and related meetings, thanking the Thai government for prioritizing Thailand-Russia relations. He said the Russian government is willing to enhance cooperation and to exchange experience and expertise with Thailand in areas such as telecommunications infrastructure, energy and agriculture. Both countries have agreed to enhance their relations at the bilateral and multilateral levels.

The Thai Prime Minister thanked the Skolkovo Foundation for granting scholarships for HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the Princess Debaratanarajasuda, to select Thai students to pursue their Master’s Degree education, helping improve the development of academic and scientific human resources in Thailand.