US vows more business in Thailand

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US vows more business in Thailand

Urges govt to ease curbs on travel

Members of the US-Asean Business Council and American businessmen in Thailand meet Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at Vithes Samosorn Hall, the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Wednesday. Several participants from the US joined the meeting online. Government House photo

US businessmen have pledged to press on with their investment plans in Thailand and called on the government to maintain momentum in tourism stimulus projects and also ease travel restrictions to help get the economy back on track.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday met the US ambassador and businessmen from the US-Asean Business Council (USABC) at a meeting at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Some businessmen attended the meeting virtually.

Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said later the PM thanked the US ambassador for playing an active role in promoting Thai-US relations, particularly in terms of the economy.

He said Gen Prayut told the US businessmen that he proposed at the 37th Asean summit and the 8th Asean-US summit that Asean and the US strengthen ties in three areas — Covid-19 vaccine development, a global and regional economic recovery from the pandemic and enhancement of skills to meet future demands of the labour market.

The PM also spoke about Thailand’s quality public health system and cooperation with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences.

The government has allocated 1.9 trillion baht to keep the economy afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic, Gen Prayut said. He highlighted government measures to stimulate domestic demand through projects such as the “half-half” co-payment stimulus project and the “We Travel Together” project aimed at reinvigorating the tourism sector.

As for post-Covid Thailand, Gen Prayut said the government will promote the development of a new economic model with a focus on sustainable business, the use of technology and innovation and digital infrastructure accessible to the public and small entrepreneurs.

US Ambassador to Thailand Michael George DeSombre said Thailand has the potential to become one of the best countries in the world to invest in if it has a suitable investment climate, and commended the country for its successful Covid-19 response.

USABC chairman Alexander Feldman also commended the government’s Covid-19 management which he said has created an atmosphere conducive to investment from the US.

The US is willing to cooperate with Thailand to distribute Covid-19 vaccines and hopes that Thailand will further ease travel restrictions in order to help revive the tourism sector, he said.