The president of the Federation of Thai Industries admits that the private sector is concerned about economic conditions for the fourth quarter of this year. He is set to meet with the industry minister to clarify the domestic investment plan.
President of the Federation of Thai Industries, or FTI, Payungsak Chartsutipol said that he will meet with Industry Minister Wannarat Channukul tomorrow to seek clarification regarding domestic investments, including investments in the Map Ta Put industrial estate, and preparations for the upcoming establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community, or AEC, in 2015.
Payungsak added that he plans to meet with Energy Minister Pichai Nariptapan to discuss plans to overhaul the energy structure to enable the industrial sector to prepare themselves for the change and adjust production to meet energy demand and prices.
As for the price increases for liquefied petroleum gas for industrial use, he said the government should put measures in place to minimize the impact to manufacturers of glass and ceramic.
The FTI president admitted that the private sector is now concerned about the Thai economic condition for the last quarter of this year since the confidence indices for both consumers and manufactures have fallen.
Despite several major investment disputes in 2009, Thailand continues to maintain an open, market-oriented economy and encourages foreign direct investment as a means of promoting economic development, employment, and technology transfer. Thailand continues to welcome investment from all countries and seeks to avoid dependence on any one country as a source of investment.
In order to apply for a work permit, a foreigner must enter Thailand on a non-immigrant visa (issued at Thai embassies and consulates) for a stay of three months or, for foreigners with well-defined work or business plans, for a stay of one year.
Openness to Foreign Investment
In recent decades, Thailand has been a major destination for foreign direct investment, and hundreds of U.S. companies have invested here successfully. Thailand continues to welcome investment from all countries and seeks to avoid dependence on any one country as a source of investment.
In 2009, most investors remained cautiously hopeful that the political situation would become less tumultuous and allow the government to pursue more business-friendly policies. Unfortunately, the November 2008 closure of Bangkok’s airports, widely watched political protests in April, and the onset of the global economic crisis made it difficult for Prime Minister Abhisit to restore the business and investor confidence in Thailand’s economy after several years of political turmoil.
By the end of the year, the dominant issues with regard to Thailand’s investment climate revolved around the court-ordered shutdown of 65 construction projects at Map Ta Phut, one of Thailand’s most important industrial estates, over allegations that the government failed to follow the 2007 Constitution’s requirements for environmental and health impact assessments when approving the new industrial projects. However, implementing legislation for these constitutional provisions had never been finalized — a significant legal quandary that the government hopes to resolve in 2010. The affected companies, including many major foreign investors, remain concerned about how and when the dispute will be resolved.