European Association for Business and Commerce
Press Release - EABC’s President Mr. Rolf-Dieter Daniel advice the NLA Seminar on Eastern Economic Corridor and SEZS: ‘The new Investment Opportunity in Thailand’
EABC Press Release 26 May 2017
EABC’s President Mr. Rolf-Dieter Daniel advice the NLA Seminar on Eastern Economic Corridor and SEZS: ‘The new Investment Opportunity in Thailand’
On 17 May EABC participated through our President Mr. Rolf-Dieter Daniel and several members and EABC executives, in a seminar organised by NLA - the National Legislative Assembly – on Eastern Economic Corridor and SEZS: The New Investment Opportunity in Thailand at the Sukosol Hotel Bangkok. 
General Worapong Sanganetra, Vice - President on Transport The National Legislative Assembly as Sub - committee of Logistic Education in Transport Committee opened the Seminar with his Welcome Remarks and Opening Remarks was delivered by Lieutenant general Jaraysak Arnupab, Chairman of Committee on Transport, The National Legislative Assembly. This was followed by a lecture on the  topic “The Government’s policy about EEC and SEZ” by the president of Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand.

EABC President Mr. Rolf-Dieter Daniel participated in a panel on the topic “Eastern Economic Corridor and SEZs : The new investment opportunity in Thailand” together with Mr. David Nardone, Chairman of Trade and Investment Committee of AMCHAM, Mr. Markus Lorenzini, President of GTCC, Mr. Hiroki Mitsumata, President of Economic Committee Jetro, Mr. Cen Ling, Chairman, Chinese – Thai Enterprises Association and Mr. Simon Matthews, Chairman of  BCCT.
Mr. Daniel assured the seminar that “EABC can help businesses resolve issues on ASEAN level. The EABC is a founding member of EU-ASEAN Business Council which is the primary voice for European Business within the ASEAN region. EABC members are granted access to the EU-ASEAN Chamber”.
Furthermore Mr. Daniel informed the seminar that EU is the world largest single market by GDP, with a GDP per head of €25 000 for its 500 million consumers and EU is also the largest source of FDI for ASEAN and ASEAN’s second largest Trading Partner. Thailand ranked 4th in EU-ASEAN Trade or 16% share in EU-ASEAN trade and remains a region of good growth, sound macroeconomic trends and a lot of opportunities.
Mr. Daniel was quoted saying Despite existing EEC Privileges such as extended TAX incentives, long land lease and VISA for management of company and some experts, Thailand urgently needs to do improvements for Investors such as”:
  • ease of doing business,
  • access to innovation and required workforce
  • competitive taxation
  • size of internal market
  • availability of mass transport via trains and buses
  • infrastructure to connect airports and city centres to consider
  • suppliers
Thailand can become an ASEAN HUB because of the following competitive advantages:
Geographical Advantage for ASEAN Hub, Transport / Logistics, Trade, R&D, Automotive (Assemblers + Auto-part makers), Solar, Digital Park, Tourism
However strong support is needed through government policies and long-term commitment of 10-20 years, consider Thailand as a part of global supply chain. Need policy to support innovation, reduce patent backlog, enforcement of IP law, Mr. Daniel adviced.
Mr. Daniel also pointed out Thailand’s obstacle for foreign Investment for example that Foreign Equity Limit – should be at least the level of AEC (70%) or more liberalized for foreign investment, Access to Human Capital  such as lack of engineers in emerging industries, e.g. rail, skilled workers, and insufficient vocational education and English proficiency workforce, IP Protection – need to increase ability to register patents and require strong IP enforcement, Ease of Doing business – VISA, Work Permit, 90-day reporting, Minimum Capital Requirement for Service Businesses – services bring GDP, Access to Finance – grants for investment or labor costs and International Compliance of Customs Procedures – e.g. valuation, rewards.
Mr. Daniel presented EABC’s recommendations for future promotion / trade facilitation. It is necessary to strengthen Thailand as a Transport and Logistics Hub – For Customs purposes; cargo should be free to move between customs points / free zones as long as it has not passed customs formality and National Trucks to be allowed between ASEAN countries.  Lat Krabang containers terminal must be totally revamped and the operator changed. Ease of Customs procedures should improve as well as coordinating efforts between ASEAN countries and introduction of customs documents in English. There is a need of creating an innovative climate especially for SMEs, lower capital requirement and improve VISA/Work Permit schemes and create equal opportunities for private sectors and state owned enterprises. SOEs should not be the regulators and operators the same time.
Mr. Daniel stated that:” it is important to continue to have close consultation on changes to laws and regulations with EABC and the foreign business community, adopting of universal standards for transport and logistics to overcome disadvantages of high costs and time constraint. In regards to EV automotive manufacturing – the government should install sufficient supporting infrastructure and consider personal income tax incentives and use more solar energy to prepare for the increased power demand in EEC
Finally, Mr. Daniel told the seminar that EABC believes that Thailand could be the prominent ASEAN Logistics Hub if the following is developed:
1. International System for Railway – European Rail Standard to ensure inter-connectivity with ASEAN and reduce logistics costs
2. Trading Nation – Adopting TIR System for logistics, which is international standard and part of UNECE, being used by 70+ nations including China and India
3 Abolish AFFA (Asean Federation of Freight Forwarders Association) since it’s not working properly
4. Establish rail authority to supervise tenders and up-to-date rail standards
5. Establish rail assembly opportunity
For further information or inquiries please contact:
EABC European Association for Business and Commerce or
Tel +6626700624
Fax +6626700608