Thailand and the United Kingdom stand ready to be each other’s regional trade hub and to forge strategic partnership. Free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between the two countries are planned.
Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom on 20 June 2018 on the occasion of his visit to UK. According to Deputy Government Spokesperson Lt. Gen. Werachon Sukondhapatipak, Prime Minister May is aware of the importance in reinforcing relations with Thailand, as the country has potentials and is the second-largest economy in the ASEAN region. She expressed her confidence toward the Thailand 4.0 policy, and agreed to promote British investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
The UK Prime Minister has been closely following up on Thailand’s political and economic development. She expressed confidence that Thailand is moving toward secure and sustainable democracy.
Prime Minister Gen. Prayut commended Prime Minister May for her strong leadership in Brexit negotiations with the best possible condition for UK, and her policy on “Global Britain,” which will provide opportunities for UK to increase trade relations with other European and non-European nations. He also marveled UK for placing importance on international security and peacekeeping, which is also the issue of priority for Thailand.
On 21 June 2018, Prime Minister Gen. Prayut met representatives of UK leading firms: Arup Group Ltd., HSBC Holdings Plc., and Prudential Plc. He explained about the Thai government’s investment promotion policy, which places importance on fair and transparent inward foreign investment on the basis of good governance for mutual interests.
The Government also strives to mobilize investment toward tangible results under the National Strategy, and encourage fair competition. The Prime Minister emphasized the significance of investment in the EEC, the nation’s key economic driving mechanism, where a number of mega-projects can be developed, be it, transport infrastructure, the S-Curve industries, technology and innovation, and environmental-friendly projects. He, therefore, extended an invitation for the UK private sector to make investment in the EEC area.
Arup Group Ltd. has been investing in Thailand for almost 20 years, especially in large-scale infrastructure. The company chairman expressed interests in investing in infrastructure development in the EEC, and was of the view that the Thai government has taken on the right direction for economic mobilization and development.
HSBC Holdings Plc. expressed interest in investing in the EEC under public-private partnership in the fields of finance and assets-related projects. Its investment will be linked with HSBC worldwide network.
Prudential Plc. is interested in investment in insurance business and digital technology development, as part of the Thai government’s promotion of the digital economy. The firm is also keen to invest in educational projects.