Jetro survey gives thumbs up to confidence in Thailand

JAPANESE business confidence in Thailand more than doubled in the latter half of last year, reflecting their confidence in the Kingdom, according to a recent survey by Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro).

After recent discussions with the president of Jetro Bangkok Hiroki Mitsumata, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said that based on Jetro’s survey, business sentiment had improved by 15 points – from 14 in the first half of last year to 29 points in the second half.

Further improvement is forecast for the first half of this year by 8 points to 37 points. The survey on business sentiment of Japanese corporations in Thailand was conducted by Jetro in the second half of 2017. The rise in business sentiment mirrored confidence in Japan’s investors and business sector in Thailand. According to the survey, Japanese investment is forecast to rise by 34 per cent and its exports to increase 37 per cent.

Japanese investors and businessmen were satisfied most about public infrastructure investment, stability and peace, progress on solutions to Thailand’s customs problems, and certain government policies on Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) development.

In response to a question on the baht’s movement for Japanese investment in Thailand, Somkid said: “Jetro Bangkok’s president told me that they are not much worried about the baht, while there is no concern over [Thailand]’s election postponement.

He will give an explanation to Japanese investors and businessmen in Thailand.” He said that Japanese paid a lot of attention to the country’s stability and economic growth, which is estimated to expand more than 4 per cent in 2017.

Somkid also asked Jetro to coordinate with the Japanese business sector in Honshu for discussions with the Thai delegation of both public agencies and Thai SMEs to Fukuoka in Kyushu during February 8-10. Regarding the addition of defence as another targeted industry for the EEC, he said that this industry would make products to replace imports and help accommodate transfer of defence technology from abroad. The Thai premier has assigned the Board of Investment to get prepared for investment in the defence industry in the future, given its potential and possible extension to other industries, Somkid said.