Thai industries, particularly food and infrastructure, vowed to pour in more investments in the Philippines.
Kriengkrai Thiennukul, chair of the Federation of Thai Industries, made this commitment in a roundtable conference between Thai business leaders and Philippine economic managers and officials in Bangkok on Saturday, Malacañang said in a press release.
“We are ready to support… investing in food security and infrastructure such as transportation and promoting tourism with the Philippines to enhance the business sector for mutual expansion between the two countries in the future,” Thiennukul was quoted as saying.
He expressed confidence that stronger partnerships between Thailand and the Philippines would help bolster economic growth in their respective countries.
“We welcome to support trade, investment and other cooperation activities. I am confident that the cooperation and the close relationship between Thailand and the Philippines will help us achieve our economies’ trade and investment objectives and create mutual benefit for the two countries in the future,” he added.
Citing similar problems faced by both Asian economies such as the impact of climate change on the supply chain, the pandemic, and global political instability, Thiennukul said it was necessary to revitalize the economic sectors, especially with a focus on sustainable development.
“We have the same goal to focus on the joint development of public health, especially in the ASEAN Framework. The development of the digital economy, the use of the digitalization and implementation of BCG Model in revitalizing the economy,” he added.
BCG, which stands for Bio-Circular-Economy model, has been introduced by the Thai government as a strategy for national development and post-pandemic recovery to expedite the country’s move closer to achieving most, if not all, the Sustainable Development Goals in the post-COVID era.
The meeting with Thai businesses is part of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s bid to encourage investments and strengthen economic cooperation between the Philippines and its Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) neighbors.
The Federation of Thai Industries is a non-profit organization representing the Thai industrial sector.
It serves as the core organization that connects public and private sectors as well as the relationship between industrial shoppers and entrepreneurs, both domestic and international.
Meanwhile, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president George Barcelon welcomed Marcos’ participation in the 29th APEC and meetings with Thai business groups as having opened up a lot of opportunities for the Philippines and Thailand to collaborate further.
“The fact that everything is twice as high due to the cause of various factors that are beyond our control. But having said that, I think the President opens up that we can collaborate with Thailand,” Barcelon said.
He cited Thai conglomerate CP Group’s interest in putting more investments in the Philippine agriculture and aquaculture industries.
CP Group earlier pledged to make additional investments in the Philippines in aquaculture, rice, and swine production.
Other Thai businesses also expressed interest to invest in energy and telecommunications.
“…These are all positive indicators that Thailand business groups are having a positive view,” he added.
He said the Philippines is also looking at support from Thailand’s rising halal industry.
Thailand currently ranks 13th among the world’s largest halal food exporters.
“The Philippines has been eyeing this market for quite some time, but we have not made real big inroads. And again this has opened up the possibility of more Thai companies helping us out or even investing in the Philippines for halal food,” Barcelon said.*PNA