Thai military launches bid to woo investors

Thailand`s military junta has said it will create a conducive climate to restore investors` confidence rattled due to political instability in the country, saying the country cannot live in "isolation".

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 20, 2014, 14:29 PM IST

Bangkok: Thailand`s military junta has said it will create a conducive climate to restore investors` confidence rattled due to political instability in the country, saying the country cannot live in "isolation".

"We recognise that Thailand cannot live in isolation," General Prayuth Chan-ocha, head of the army which has seized power on May 22 after months of political turmoil, said.

The military administration assured key Western trade representatives that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) was committed to promoting partnership with the world community on all fronts.

Prayuth met chamber of commerce representatives from the United States, Britain, Canada, Germany, France and Australia in Bangkok yesterday.

"Laws that are counter-productive to trade and investment will be changed and negotiations of trade pacts such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will resume," he said.

"Expanding economic cooperation frameworks including those with ASEAN and the European Union is also on the agenda," he added.

Concerns over the political conflict in the country have rattled business confidence and slowed investment in the Southeast Asia`s second-largest economy after Indonesia. The Thai economy contracted 2.1 per cent in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2013.

Seven months of political conflict between loyal supporters of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her opponents, led by Suthep Thaugsuban, came to a head when the military seized power and set up its governing body.

Prayuth said the military will continue to improve existing international trade and investments.

"We still need to improve international relations...on the basis of mutual trust and equal interest. We ask that you have confidence in Thailand,"he said.

He said the NCPO is speeding up preparations for entry to the Asean Economic Community next year and will resume investment projects halted due to political instability, Bangkok Post quoted him as saying.

General Prayuth said the improvements in labour laws and regulations were needed for the country`s security and public safety.