April 30, 2014 00:00
By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
Branching out from auto sector; Thailand seen as manufacturing hub in Asean
German companies are considering investing more in Thailand in various industries, not only the automobile and related business, as they view the country as a potential hub for manufacturing and related services in Asean.
Nils Schmid, finance and economics minister of Baden-Wuerttemberg, said yesterday that German enterprises see great opportunities in expanding and starting up businesses here.
Despite the internal political conflict, Schmid was confident in promoting more investment in Thailand, as every government maintains a pro-business policy.
He was leading a trade mission with more than 20 Germany enterprises to Thailand this week.
Businesses that Germany would like to promote more in Thailand are not only the auto business, in which Germany has high expertise, but also small and medium sized enterprises and clusters for such industries as pharmaceutical, banking, energy, alternative energy and auto supplies.
Schmid has led business missions to Thailand and other Asean countries including Malaysia and Indonesia ahead of the full liberalisation of the regional economy under the Asean Economic Community (AEC).
The German government believes in facilitating manufacturing and reindustrialising the country. It will not give up promoting manufacturing and will continue to help encourage the growth of manufacturing in partner countries. Thailand is one of its target countries to form closer collaboration.
German Ambassador Rolf Schulze said foreign direct investment from Germany to Thailand is on the rise. Germany has high trust in Thailand. After the Asean integration, Thailand will continue to remain an important hub of Asean to serve German business growth in the Southeast Asian market.
Peter Kulitz, president of the Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Baden-Wurttemberg, said Thailand is being considered as the heart of Asia at the very gateway to the most densely-populated countries in the world – China and India.
Thailand and Asean can confidently hold their chins up high even in the face of these two giants. Asean today is the ninth largest global economy, and is expected in 2018 to be upgraded to the sixth largest.
German investors would like to explore more opportunities in Thailand and other Asean nations as one of biggest markets in the world.
Businesses that German firms are interested in include motor vehicle, special machinery and equipment, bio and medical engineering, construction, eco-friendly industries, and energy-efficient solutions or green technology.