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A projected 700 plus American companies are set to motion to have a combined investment of a staggering amount of US$40 billion or equivalent 1.25 trillion baht, in Thailand by the end of 2012. This positive news was conveyed to the Thai government by a business leader.
Joe Mannix, President of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), disclosed the incredible amount in a speech given at a thank-you function for the government, hosted by AMCHAM in Bangkok. In said speech, Mr Mannix commended the Yingluck administration’s efforts in pushing the 2012 GDP to a projected 5% growth. This is the anticipated growth rate for the greater Southeast Asia region.
Mr. Mannix added that Thailand’s strong and steadfast commitment resulted in keeping a positive image for the country as a good business environment for continued foreign investments as manifested by its strong showing of improved economy despite the massive floods of 2011.
The AMCHAM president highlighted Thailand’s ambitious projection of manufacturing two million vehicles deemed as “historical,” while at the same time praising the Thai government’s aggressive tourism campaign aimed at bringing the number of foreign tourists visiting the Kingdom to go beyond the 20 million tourist arrivals this year.
Mr Mannix also stated that Thailand is regarded by American business counterparts as one of the top countries that managed to maintain a positive business environment for foreign investments as largely attributed to the country’s continuing economic revival. He added that in a survey by AMCHAM, it was found that 65% of US companies are contemplating and planning to expand their investments in Thailand.
The AMCHAM president mentioned that US companies are doubtful if ASEAN will successfully achieve its goal for ASEAN to integrate into a single economic community in 2015. He is hopeful, however that Thailand will be instrumental in making ASEAN achieve said goal.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who was also present at the function, highlighted the various infrastructure development plans and the water management schemes being undertaken by the Thai government as a way to strengthen the economic platform and infrastructure for improved foreign investments after the 2011 floods.
The Prime Minister also emphasized on the government’s anti-corruption policy saying that the current administration is set to promote transparency to attract more foreign investors to come to Thailand. The premier is hopeful that the strong Thai-US relations will continue to boost economic benefits by making the US as the country’s top trading partner.
Currently, the United States is the third largest export market of Thailand following China and Japan. In 2011, Thailand exported a n estimated 656mn baht to the USA, close to China’s 791mn baht and Japan’s 719mn baht. This year, for the first seven months, exports to the US reached 410mn baht compared to China’s 484mn baht and Japan’s 422mn baht.
In terms of import markets, the USA stands behind Japan, China and the United Arab Emirates as the fourth largest supplier to the Kingdom. In 2011, Thailand’s imports from the US were valued at 408mn baht, against 1.28bn baht from Japan, 930mn baht from China and 442mn baht from the UAE. The import values showed a slight increase from the same period in 2011 at 2238mn baht for the first seven months of 2012 against 235mn baht for 2011.
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