BANGKOK, Feb 15 - Clashes between Thailand and Cambodia last week prompted Thailand's Board of Investment (BoI) to put off leading investors to look for investment opportunities in Cambodia for an indefinite period as investors are concerned about safety, BoI Secretary-General Atchaka Sibunruang Brimble said.
The original trip was scheduled this month. Ms Atchaka said a large number of Thai investors are interested in investment in Cambodia, particularly in labour-intensive industries such as the garment industry, but the roadshow must be postponed until the tension eases. So far, Thai investors have invested in Cambodia's retail industry, hotels, and telecommunications.
Regarding domestic politics, she said investors understand the political situation in Thailand. If it goes along in accord with democracy procedures and a new election is held this year, it does not cause concern among investors, she said.
The requests for investment privileges this year are likely to reach their target at Bt400 billion (US$13 billion). In January alone, the amount was reported at Bt22 billion ($733 million), which was a drop from last year when a megaproject power plant worth Bt20 billion ($666 million) sought BoI privileges. This year, no megaprojects such as upstream steel and petrochemical projects are included in the BoI target because investors are not confident in the location of the project.
Meanwhile, she said the shortage of labour is a problem foreign investors facing in Thailand. They asked the BoI to help solve labour shortages at all levels.
Fighting between Thailand and Cambodia began on Feb 4 and continued through Feb 7. Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya reported to the UN Security Council on Monday that two Thai soldiers and two civilians were killed during the four-day clashes. He said the ASEAN foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in Jakarta, Indonesia to discuss the dispute on Feb 22. (MCOT online news)