Srettha sets off for Europe, Japan in search of investments


PM to meet with French, Italian leaders before addressing Future of Asia Forum in Tokyo

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Wednesday embarks on a global mini-tour to drum up investment opportunities in France, Italy and Japan.

Srettha will attend the Thailand-France Business Forum and hold talks with President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Thursday. On Friday, he will travel to Italy for five days of business talks before returning to Asia for the 29th Nikkei Forum Future of Asia in Tokyo from May 22 to May 24.

Srettha will lead a delegation of Thai business leaders at the Thailand-France Business Forum in a bid to boost bilateral trade and French private-sector investment in Thailand. His talks with President Macron will focus on enhancing trade, investment, defence industry, and soft power links between the two countries, according to the Thai Foreign Ministry. Foundations will also be laid for a Thailand-France strategic partnership, as outlined in the 2022-2024 roadmap.

In Italy, Srettha will hold talks with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on bolstering Thai-Italian relations as the two nations mark 156 years of diplomatic ties. The aim will be to broaden collaboration in renewable energy, sports tourism, medical sciences and pharmaceuticals, and aerospace. Srettha will also push for visa exemption for Thai passport holders in the Schengen area, finalisation of the Thailand-European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by 2025, and switching Thai migrant workers from Israel to Italy.

The PM will also meet with Attilio Fontana, the president of Italy’s largest regional economy, Lombardy. Srettha is also due to hold talks with Italian business leaders including Carlo Capasa, president of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, to encourage more Italian investment in Thai sectors such as fashion, agriculture, automotive, energy, finance, Sustainability Linked Bonds, and the Land Bridge project.

In Tokyo, the prime minister will deliver a speech at the Nikkei Forum Future of Asia. Under the theme "Asian Leadership in an Uncertain World," the forum will focus on trade and investment connectivity to create business opportunities, sustainable development, collaboration in digital transformation, and a new multilateral system to support Asia's economy amid evolving global circumstances and challenges.