THAILAND, Sept 25 – Thailand is looking forward to expanding its business collaboration with Penang in areas such as construction and seafood. “There are a lot of opportunities and investments that we can achieve together with the Malaysian people. “We see that Penang is a very well-developed state, in Malaysia there are many multinational corporations investing here,” Executive Director of Trade and Investment Cooperation Division, Department of Foreign Trade, Akarapong Dipavajra said in a press conference at a seminar and business matching session with the Thailand delegation today. He said although Thailand’s investment in Penang is still minimal, there is potential for it to grow. Dipavajra, who is also the delegation head, said Thailand is setting up five special economic zones to boost border trade and prepare for the arrival of the Asean Community next year – in Mae Sot, Aranyaprathet, Khlong Yai, Mueang and Sadao.
“We are studying the safety and also the infrastructure that we should do and support to make this thing happen in the future. In these areas you can import labour from neighbouring countries,” he added. Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon in his welcoming remarks said the business matching session would help to create a higher awareness of business opportunities for the business communities of Thailand and Penang and bring about a more robust business relationship between both countries. “There are opportunities for greater collaboration and cooperation between Penang and Thailand especially in Halal products, food and tourism within the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) and Asean Economic Community 2015,” he said. He said Thailand was the ninth largest source of tourists passing through the Penang International Airport in 2013, and the number of Thai tourists grew a further four per cent in the first half of this year.