Foreign investment 'will be transparent'

Coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha on Wednesday pledged to ensure all trade and investment deals with foreign investors would be transparent and open to checking.

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Gen Prayuth gave the assurance at a meeting with a South Korean delegation of businessmen and investors led by Lee Man Jae, president of the Korean-Thai Chamber of Commerce, at the army headquarters on Ratchadamnoen Avenue. The group comprised representatives from the aviation, automobile and banking sectors.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) would attach great importance to trade and investment issues, Gen Prayuth said, as well as make sure investment agreements with the foreign public-private sector would be corruption-free and not create long-term problems for Thailand. 

He said Thailand’s megaprojects on water management, infrastructure and transportation, in which South Korean investors were interested, were currently being reviewed but would continue and be open to foreign investment, including from South Korea.

Gen Prayuth did not elaborate on which infrastructure projects had already been approved or implemented or ready for the go-ahead.

He also asked South Korea to invite its citizens to visit Thailand to boost  tourism-related revenue as part of economic stimulus measures.

The NCPO chief said Seoul had always been a good friend to Thailand and he hoped it would play an important role in building confidence toward Thailand in other countries.      

Mr Lee said Korea understood the situation in Thailand and the need for the NCPO to step in and govern the country and was ready to seek stronger ties with the Kingdom at all levels.

He said South Korea was interested in environmentally-friendly investments, heavy industry and mass transport schemes in Thailand and was ready to support it with know-how and technology in areas of its expertise. 

Mr Lee said South Korea had experienced a similar situation to Thailand 50 years ago but was able to rebuild the nation’s strength to the position it is in today. He said he hoped Thailand could do the same.

Monthon Panupokin, managing director of Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water), which has won the bid for two of nine modules under the water management scheme now on hold, said the South Korean government and the firm remained confident about investing in Thailand even if the scheme or the modules are changed.

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