Japan remains Thailand’s top foreign investor, but exports still negative: Jurin
Japanese businesses are still the biggest foreign investors in Thailand, though exports to Japan have been contracting for five consecutive months, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said.
Jurin, who is also deputy PM, said on Tuesday that the latest data from the Business Development Department shows that Japan has invested US$27.78 billion (about 970 billion baht) in Thailand, accounting for about a fourth of all foreign investments in the Kingdom.
Jurin said more than 6,000 Japanese companies are doing business in Thailand, compared to 14,846 Japanese firms in the remaining Asean nations.
The top Japanese businesses in Thailand are holding companies, commercial banks, steel, auto parts and electronic parts, Jurin added.
However, Thailand’s exports to Japan in January came in at negative 9.2%, he said, without elaborating on the actual value. He only said that this was the fifth consecutive month to report contraction. The goods suffering a drop in orders include chemical products, processed chicken and copper.
Japan is the third largest bilateral trade partner of Thailand after China and the United States.
Jurin said trade between Thailand and China was valued at $59.25 billion (about 2.07 trillion baht), dropping about 2.3% from the previous year.
Thailand’s bilateral trade last year with Japan covers $24.67 billion worth of exports versus $34.58 billion worth of imports, resulting in a trade deficit of $9.92 billion.