Thailand Invites French Investment Aiming to Become Southeast Asia’s Digital Economy Hub

Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin recently spearheaded a delegation to France, aiming to fortify economic ties and invite French investment into the country’s burgeoning sectors. During the Thailand-France Business Forum held in Paris, the Prime Minister unveiled the “IGNITE THAILAND” initiative, a strategic vision designed to transform Thailand into a pivotal hub across eight key industries: tourism, wellness and medical, agriculture and food, aviation, logistics, future mobility, digital economy, and finance.

The “Landbridge” project, a flagship endeavor of the Thai government, is set to enhance the nation’s logistical capabilities by bridging the Pacific and Indian Oceans, thereby cementing Thailand’s position as the central connectivity node of Southeast Asia. In the realm of aviation, Thailand is accelerating the expansion and modernization of its airports, with plans to establish a comprehensive Aviation Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) infrastructure, further solidifying its ambition to become a premier aviation hub for passengers and cargo alike.

The digital sector in Thailand boasts a robust foundation, characterized by widespread 5G internet coverage and a vibrant digital ecosystem. The Thai government is keen on leveraging this digital prowess to establish the nation as a regional leader in the digital economy. This aligns seamlessly with France’s Indo-Pacific strategy, potentially opening doors to a symbiotic partnership that could bolster the Indo-Pacific region’s economic landscape.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the ongoing negotiations for the Thai-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA), expressing optimism about its positive impact on trade between Thailand and the EU. He underscored the pivotal role of the private sectors in both nations in steering the FTA towards a successful conclusion. The anticipated agreement is expected to significantly boost exports from the EU to Thailand by over 40% and expand Thai exports to the EU by more than 25%.

Amidst these economic advancements, the Prime Minister did not lose sight of the global challenges that lie ahead. He reaffirmed Thailand’s commitment to sustainability, outlining an ambitious green transition goal that aims for 50% of the country’s energy production to be renewable by 2040. With such initiatives, Thailand is poised to become a hub for future mobility, particularly in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, encompassing the entire value chain.

This strategic push by the Thai government underscores a multifaceted approach to economic development, one that balances ambitious growth with sustainable practices, setting a precedent for the region and offering a wealth of opportunities for international investors.

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