Japanese back water plans
Japanese businesses in Thailand are still confident in the country's long-term water-management plan - but need a more skilled workforce to serve their investments, Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk said yesterday.
The minister met with Setsuo Iuchi, president of the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) Bangkok, and Minoru Furusawa, president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC) Bangkok, yesterday.
The business leaders discussed a joint survey commissioned by their organisations on the sentiment of Thai-based Japanese firms on investment trends in Thailand. JCC will release the survey on January 29.
The survey found that confidence among Japanese investors in the government’s water management plan had improved. The ministry told both organisations that the government had set aside a budget of Bt350 billion for water-management projects.
Prasert said that Japanese businesses needed a more skilled Thai workforce, such as engineers, to support their investments. He said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had already assigned the Labour Ministry and the Education Ministry to jointly draw up a human resource development plan to serve the industry sector's future demands.
The government had also planned to spend Bt2.2 trillion on infrastructure development, which will further boost the confidence of Japanese businesses here.
A ministry source said Prasert told Jetro and the JCC that the government would forward the upcoming bill for the Bt2.2-trillion seven-year budget for Parliament's consideration in the next two months.
Prasert added that in the meeting with Jetro and JCC, they did not inquire about the issue of the Bt300 daily minimum wage hike. He said the ministry has kept a close watch of the situation.