The Bank of Thailand (BoT) is worrying that the foreign direct investment (FDI) made by Japanese investors in Thailand might be affected from the recent quake and tsunami attack in Japan.
BoT Governor Dr Prasarn Trairatvorakul believed that the Thai economic growth should not be affected much by the catastrophe in Japan based on initial assessment although Thailand and Japan have very close trade and investment.
On the contrary, the governor noted Japan might order more goods from Thailand for the rehabilitation in the country.
Dr Prasarn confirmed that the BoT was monitoring the movement of Japanese FDI in order to assess the extent of impact from the recent natural disaster that the Japanese investors in Thailand were facing.
The governor believed that Japanese investors might delay their investment in Thailand if their factories or parent offices in their home country were damaged. He admitted that the Thai economic outlook hence might be affected.
Thai exporters have been warned that sales will probably drop because of the earthquake and tsunami that have devastated northeastern Japan.
University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) economic and business forecasting centre director Att Pisarnvanich said on Tuesday that Japan’s economic growth for 2011 would likely drop by 0.5 to 1.0 per cent.
Mr Att said he expected the catastrophe would cause Thai exports to Japan to fall by about 7.2 per cent, or about US$735 million, to $1.47 billion, accounting for 0.3 to 0.7 per cent of total Thai exports to the world market.
The impact on Thailand’s industrial exports would be higher, estimated at 8.3 per cent, with agricultural exports looking at a 2.9 per cent, he added.
The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has expected that the expansion of Japanese projects in Thailand would slow down by about two to three months after the quake and tsunami attack.
FTI Board of Directors Chief Advisor Santi Vilassakdanont stated that the deadly disaster has negatively affected the Japanese economy to the extent that Japanese investors might have to delay their investment in Thailand by about two to three months.
The chief advisor indicated that the Japanese government was preparing measures to assist its industrial sector as well as investors; therefore, he believed that investment slowdown would only last for a short-term period.