At least 50 Japanese companies that have invested in Thailand have said they will definitely expand their investment further, mostly in the Eastern Economi Corridor (EEC), according to the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Bangkok (JCC).
Industry Minister Utama Savanayana said he had been informed by the JCC that its latest survey found most Japanese investors are still interested in investing more in Thailand, particularly in the EEC zone.
"At least 50 companies out of more than 100 companies in the survey said they will invest more in the EEC" said Mr. Uttama.
The EEC is a heavilty promoted project by the government as a new special economic zone to attract new foreign investment. It spans more than 30,000 rai in the three eastern provinces of Rayong, Chon Buri and Chachoensao.
It was designed to accomodate new investment in targeted industries to pursue added value and push the economy towards the Thailand 4.0 era.
The government aims to attrac 30 leding multinational companies to invesst in the EEC over the next two years. The area is meant to be Thailand's new growth engine, featuring high-tech and innovative industry clusters.
The EEC has been designed to lure investment in 10 targeted industries: next-genertion cars; smart electronics; affluent, medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; food; robotis and industry; logistics and aviation; biofuels and biochemicals; digital; and medical services.
Besides, Japanese firms that have not yet started investing in Thailand also said they are interested in the EEC as the government has promoted greater investment incentives.
Mr. Uttama said the sectors that Japanese firms would be most interested in starting to invest in are electric vehicle (EV), robotic and medical equipment.
He said most Japanese companies said they were interested in Thailand because of its perfec location in the centre of the Asean region as well as being the logistics centre linking to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV).
"The Japanese firms said they want to use Thailand as their production base and distribute the products to Asean and CLMV countries," said Mr Uttama.
According to the Thailand Board of Investment, Japan investors have invested in 264 projects in Thailand last year worth a total of 57 billion baht, making Japan the biggest foreign investor in the country.