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Director touts Thai investment opportunities

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Thailand is looking forward to continuing its prospering trade relationship with Taiwan, said the executive director of the Thailand Trade and Economic Office at a recent interview.

The executive director, Kriangsak Kittichaisaree, said the trade relationship between Thailand and Taiwan has seen significant improvements from 2011, showing stability and progress with a 10-percent growth in the trade surplus, amounting to US$6.4 billion. The increasing number of global investors in Thailand indicates the potential of new investment opportunities, the executive director said.

New Investment

He said that the investment climate has been changing in Thailand, with mainland China, Japan, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Singapore, the U.S., Malaysia and Australia ranking as the top investors.

The executive director said that the Netherlands was number 10 before 2012 and Australia was formerly placed at 17.

Taiwan used to be one of the top five investors in Thailand, but recently has met with strong competition, thus was moved to around 15th place, according to the office.

The executive director said that Thailand has opened up to ASEAN, which helps with regional economic integration. According to Pitinun Samanvorawong, director of the Thailand Trade Office, joining free trade agreements helps to make Thailand's trade market more open and available to global demand.

The executive director said that due to Thailand's close location to southern China, it is reasonable to see the growing trade relationship with the mainland.

According to the office, the service sector in Thailand also has seen improved performance. Most investment in Thailand centers around the agricultural sector, including agricultural and food processing, said Orapin Swadpanich, director of the Thailand Board of Investment, Taipei Office. She said products such as rubber goods have been a major investment attraction in Thailand.

The second most invested-in industry is that of automotives, according to the investment office. The investment director said that from car producers to suppliers of gears, Thailand is enjoying sufficient growth in this industry, said the director.

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Executive Director of the Thailand Trade and Economic Office Kriangsak Kittichaisaree smiles after an interview with The China Post in the office's Taipei branch on Feb. 5. The executive director said he has high hopes for trade and investment between Thailand and Taiwan

(Wang Chien-yu, The China Post)

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