Pattaya Daily News

13 March 2009 :: 14:03:36 pm 38764

Pm Confident UK Visit Will Draw Investment To Thailand

BANGKOK, March 13 - Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said his visit to the United Kingdom this weekend will be a good opportunity to reflect the reality that the economic crisis that the Southeast Asian countries is now suffering originated from the financial downturn in the leading industrial countries.
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The Thai leader said he would invite British investors to expand into business sectors in Thailand in addition to that of auto spare parts where Britain is already represented.

Mr. Abhisit left Bangkok after midnight Friday morning from Suvarnabhumi airport to begin a three-day official visit to the United Kingdom March 13-15 at the invitation of the British government, where he will also speak on Thai politics at Oxford University.

The Thai premier said during his first official visit to the United Kingdom he is scheduled to meet his British counterpart Gordon Brown and that their discussion will focus only on economic issues as Britain will host the second G-20 Leaders’ Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy scheduled on April 2.

He described the summit as a venue for economic discussions and exchange of views among regions.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), represented by Thailand?s Abhisit, will tell the G-20 meeting that Southeast Asia is also suffering from the impact of the financial crisis that originated in the industrial countries.

The industrial nations should listen to Southeast Asia in solving the financial crisis, gaining balanced recovery, and avoiding the second and third waves of the crisis that may yet come, he said.

“The summit will be an opportunity to communicate the concerns of ASEAN,” Mr. Abhisit said. “Thailand’s economy suffering contraction has resulted from international factors, particularly export (demand) and (declining) tourism.”

Mr. Abhisit added that Thailand and the United Kingdom enjoyed warm relations, and the prospects for expanded bilateral trade were bright as British companies topped the list of countries requesting privileges from Thailand?s Board of Investment (BoI), a government agency promoting industrial and other international business development.

Trade and investment between the two countries ran smoothly but faced what Mr. Abhisit called a bit of a hiccup following the September 2006 coup and related political unrest.

During his visit Mr. Abhisit said he intended to convince Mr. Brown regarding Thailand’s improved political atmosphere, and that the British government and private sector should have confidence in the new Thai government and expand trade and investment in Thailand.

The Thai prime minister said he would have an opportunity to meet the British business community and would encourage them to expand business in Thailand in a varied of sectors, rather than only auto spare parts production.

The Oxford engagement may present the Thai leader with his best opportunity to put forward his government’s strengths and potentials in a country whose Thai-awareness has largely been provided by media attention given to ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s investment in Manchester City Football Club and poltical and legal actions presenting Mr. Thaksin as a victim of Thai politics.

Mr. Abhisit said he will also be interviewed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Financial Times about Thai political developments and said he would do his best to clarify the political issues. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Thailand News

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