Thailand explores trade, investment opportunities in Myanmar

Bangkok (The Nation/ANN) - The Board of Trade of Thailand and the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) next week will lead a mission to seek new trade and investment opportunities in Myanmar.

The mission takes place amid the backdrop of fears of a serious impact on the business sector from the nationwide minimum-wage increase to 300 baht (US$9.7) per day in the new year.

Phongsak Assakul, who heads up both organisations, yesterday said many Thai enterprises were keen to invest or form joint ventures in Myanmar as it has the highest growth potential in Asean, with the capability of serving expanding manufacturing and service businesses while possessing a large market to serve domestic growth.

"Many leading businesses in the Kingdom will look for new opportunities in Myanmar as it has lower labour costs and high consumer demand. To invest and do businesses in Myanmar will increase the competitiveness of Thai businesses," he said.

About 20 leading enterprises will take part in the private-sector mission to Yangon from December 16-18. They include Saha Group, Mitr Phol, Thai Beverage and Kasikornbank. Business areas such as logistics, freight, cross-border trade, machinery, foods, jewellery, telecommunications, education, hospitals and hotels will be represented.

Representatives from the Board of Trade and the TCC will meet with enterprises from the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry to discuss the boosting of trade and investment between the countries.

Phongsak described Myanmar as one of the best destinations for Thai investors thanks to its proximity and much lower labour costs. The daily wage in the country ranges from 75 to 120 baht, while salaried workers earn only 3,000-6,000 baht per month.

Many Thai companies with labour-intensive operations are expected to set up in Myanmar or expand their businesses there, using the country as a production base for shipment to other regional markets, he said.

TCC vice chairman Somkiat Anuras said closer cooperation between Thai and Myanmar enterprises should help promote cross-border trade with the Kingdom's neighbours to 2 trillion baht in the next three years.

This year, however, overall cross-border trading is expected to miss the target of 1 trillion baht, coming in at 900 billion baht because of the impact of the global economic slowdown. Border trade was worth 759 billion baht in the first 10 months of the year.

With the policy of focusing more on Asean markets, cross-border trade should grow strongly to 2 trillion baht by 2015, Somkiat said.

Myanmar is Thailand's second-largest cross-border trading partner, after Malaysia. Bilateral trade with Myanmar grew by nearly 11 per cent to 145.88 billion baht during the first 10 months of the year.

Meanwhile, Bhumindr Harinsuth, vice chairman of the chamber, said members of the private sector would tomorrow finalise discussions on relief measures in connection with the impending minimum-wage increase, and would summarise their proposals to the government on December 14.

The proposed measures include the establishment of a fund to help small and medium-sized enterprises.

Phongsak said Thai gross domestic product was expected to expand by 4-5 per cent next year, boosted by ICT (information and communication technology) business expansion as a result of licensing for third-generation cellular service, plus growth in the construction, insurance and automobile industries.

However, the chamber projects that exports could grow by no more than 5 per cent next year on global economic concerns.

*US$1=30.6 baht

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low
    Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low

    Philippine economic growth in the first quarter slowed to a three-year low of 5.2 percent, well below forecasts, due to lethargic government spending and weak exports, officials said Thursday. "While growth in the private sector remains robust, the slower than programmed pace of public spending, particularly the decline in public construction, has slowed down the overall growth of the economy," Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters. "Exports were the other source of the …

  • EM ASIA FX-Won near 2-month low on plunging yen, peso pares gains as growth weakens

    * S.Korea intervention spotted, won hits 7-year high vs yen * Philippine peso briefly weaker after Q1 growth disappoints (Adds text, updates prices) By Jongwoo Cheon SEOUL, May 28 (Reuters) - South Korea's ... …

  • Britain's tied visa rules fuel abuse of live-in maids, nannies

    By Katie Nguyen LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Susi, a single mother from the Philippines, left for a job in Qatar, she convinced herself it was a sacrifice worth making for her children at home. For more than a year, Susi's sacrifice involved waking before dawn and working past midnight, cooking, cleaning and looking after a Qatari family. Conditions deteriorated when Susi was brought to Britain by her boss. …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Philippines at four-month low after Q1 GDP miss

    BANGKOK, May 28 (Reuters) - Philippine shares hit a more than four-month low on Thursday after economic growth in the first quarter was slower than expected, while Thai stocks retreated after disappointing ... …

  • Philippine economic growth slows to 5.2 percent in 1Q

    Sluggish government spending slowed Philippine economic growth in the first quarter of this year, officials said Thursday. The country's gross domestic product grew by 5.2 percent in the first quarter, ... …

  • PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices
    PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices

    Set to move to a unified headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in 2016, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has issued plans to sell their offices in Makati and Ortigas. PSE President Hans Sicat issued that PSE means to sell the offices, but that they may also opt to rent them out instead. …

  • ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’
    ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’

    While strong earthquakes cause tsunamis in coastal areas, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned that inland areas could also be exposed to tsunami-like waves, or seiche, if located near or around bodies of water. In a recent earthquake awareness seminar in Muntinlupa, Phivolcs supervising science research specialist Joan Salcedo explained that a seiche is a large wave similar to a tsunami, triggered by strong ground shaking from an earthquake or volcanic …

  • China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations
    China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations

    China gave the Philippines a “gentle reminder” last Tuesday that Beijing will not bully small countries but warned these nations not to make trouble willfully and endlessly. “Here is a gentle reminder to the Philippines: China will not bully small countries, meanwhile, small countries shall not make trouble willfully and endlessly. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that China would continue to build other civilian facilities on relevant maritime features in the disputed Spratly Islands …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options