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Economy March 11, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

Asean-5 pips China in FDI total last year

Foreign direct investment into the five big economies of Southeast Asia continued to strengthen last year and overtook FDI into China, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

FDI into Asean-5 climbed 7 per cent to US$128.4 billion in 2013. FDI into China, based on official FDI utilised, fell 2.9 per cent to $117.6 billion.

FDI into China peaked in 2011 at $124 billion and has edged lower over the past two years. China is also starting to emerge as an outward FDI investor given its growing savings and wealth. – The Star/ANN

MInister to join TAT show in HK

Tourism Minister Somsak Pureesrisak will join a roadshow to Hong Kong with the Tourism Authority of Thailand on Friday to help promote Thailand as a safe destination for visitors.

He will talk to tour operators to assure them of Thailand’s tourism safety. Since a state of emergency was declared, arrivals have plunged by 10,000 people per day from all markets including Hong Kong. As there is no clear date for the end of the emergency decree, he is going abroad to explain what the real situation is like in Thailand so that travellers will have more confidence to come here.

Thai focus for new Triton

Mitsubishi Motors will launch the new version of its best-selling Triton pickup truck in emerging markets in fiscal 2014, with a focus on Thailand, according to Nikkei.

Drivers in more than 100 countries besides Japan, the US and China will have an opportunity to buy the truck. Releases are planned for other Southeast Asian markets, as well as South America, Africa and the Middle East. Overall, trucks and SUVs account for 57 per cent of unit sales. The automaker aims to boost this to 63 per cent in fiscal 2016. That year, 30 per cent of its line-up will consist of vehicles based on a truck chassis, up from the current 20 per cent.

By fiscal 2016, Mitsubishi Motors intends to slash base platforms from 23 to 13 and focus development on trucks, SUVs and small cars for emerging markets.

Fukushima eyes thai springboard

One of Japan’s leading manufacturers of commercial refrigerators and freezers, Fukushima Industries, plans to use Thailand as a springboard abroad, according to Nikkei.

Especially in Southeast Asia, more Japanese-affiliated restaurant operators and retailers are opening up shop and need equipment to keep items cold. Its new 1 billion yen (Bt314 million) factory in an industrial park south of Bangkok will begin operations in the summer of 2015 churning out up to 6,000 or so commercial refrigerators and freezers a year. This will lift the firm’s production capacity by about 10 per cent and provide a more cost-competitive base for expansion into foreign markets, which had been served from a factory in Japan.

Initially, half of the Thai plant’s output will be re-exported to Japan. The company aims to increase annual foreign sales by 60 per cent to 5 billion yen by fiscal 2015.