On 18 June 2013, Ambassador Thanatip Upatising gave a briefing about economic relationship between Thailand and Japan to about 30 FEC’s executive members, as well as joined a luncheon with FEC members. FEC is the organization established by the Japanese SMEs of more than 1,000 companies, which are all of interest in overseas investment, including that in Thailand.
The gist of Ambassador’s briefing includes the fact that Thailand - Japan relations can be best portrayed as “old friends and modern partners,” whose have trade relations for more than 600 years and are strategic partners bilaterally and multilaterally. Japan has always been the biggest trade partner and investor of Thailand. The number of Thai tourists visiting Japan was ranked no. 6 among foreign tourists visit to Japan and is likely to increase annually. On the other hand, the number of Japanese tourists visiting Thailand unprecedentedly reached 1.3 million in 2012.
To promote Japanese investment in Thailand, Ambassador stressed the rising opportunities for Japanese companies to reap benefits from an enormous market of approximately 600 million population in ASEAN after 2015 through free flow of goods and services in the region. His Excellency also encouraged Japanese investors to take advantages of the geographically strategic competitiveness of Thailand’s location which is at the heart of ASEAN and also advocated the attractiveness of Projects in Dawei Special Economic Zone to which the Thai Government attaches great importance. The Thai Government and the Myanmar Government jointly signed an Agreement on the Development of Dawei Special Economic Zone in July 2012 and agreed to set up 3 levels of joint working groups to set the initiatives in motion. Due to all these favorable opportunities, Japanese companies investing in Thailand can gain benefit from ASEAN Connectivity.