Despite Thailand’s uncertain political situation, Sojitz Corporation, one of Japan’s biggest trading companies, remains committed to further investment here.
According to Shinichi Sakata, president of Sojitz Thailand Co, the company has had a presence in Thailand for more than eight decades and will continue its investment no matter what the political situation.
He lauded Thailand’s strong economic fundamentals, good supporting industries and strong supply chain in the industrial sector.
Moreover, the country has set a lofty long-term socioeconomic vision for Thailand 4.0 with an aim to achieve greater industry sophistication and higher added value to the country, he said.
Mr Sakata cited a recent annual survey by Japan Bank for International Cooperation on foreign direct investment by Japan’s manufacturing sector. It revealed that Thailand came in third place behind China and India for the most promising country in the next three years.
The study also predicted more manufacturers moving to Thailand and expanding their production facilities there.
“Sojitz has expanded business in many countries in Southeast Asia, but Thailand is one of the top priorities,” Mr Sakata said.
Yesterday, Sojitz Thailand signed an agreement with Saha Group’s holding firm, Saha Pathana Inter-Holding Public Co (SPI), on future business cooperation in Thailand.
Three business models will be pursued under the cooperation.
Sojitz will act as the sales agent for Saha’s industrial parks in Thailand, offering prospective investors suitable industrial parks matched to the client’s needs.
Sojitz will provide detail-oriented backup to companies looking to enter Thailand and provide Saha companies with Sojitz’s industrial park network if Saha Group wants to expand its business into Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and India.
Sojitz will also co-develop new industrial parks in Thailand.
Sontaya Tabkhan, vice-president for industrial park development at SPI, said the company runs four industrial parks in Chon Buri, Prachin Buri, Lamphun and Tak.
It also has a new 1,000-rai plot in Tak’s Mae Sot to develop a new industrial park.
“We are considering co-developing this industrial park in Mae Sot,” Mr Sakata said. “The project is expected to take place in the next three years.”
Sojitz is Japan’s seventh-largest trading company with sales of ¥4.4 trillion last year. It is involved in chemical products, food, electronics, auto parts and industrial parks.
“The Chinese are also interested in setting up production bases in Thailand to reduce risks from the trade war with the US,” Mr Sakata said. “About seven or eight companies are on our list.”