Thai PM invites Aussie firms to invest in clean energy
Thai PM invites Aussie firms to invest in clean energyLegacy

During the 2024 ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, Srettha Thavisin, the Prime Minister of Thailand, extended an invitation to prominent Australian companies to invest in Thailand’s electric vehicle (EV) battery, clean energy, and transport logistics sectors. The summit, which marks five decades of Australia’s partnership with ASEAN, is being held in Melbourne, Australia.

PM Srettha used this opportunity to meet with his Australian counterpart, Anthony Albanese, to discuss the strengthening of bilateral trade, investment, tourism, and technological cooperation under the Joint Declaration on the Strategic Partnership between the two nations. The Thai prime minister also extended an invitation to Albanese for an official visit to Thailand within the year.

A key topic of their discussions was the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which the 62 year old Thai prime minister noted has seen bilateral trade increase by a substantial 186%. The leaders agreed to work on enhancing the agreement to adapt to evolving circumstances.

In a separate meeting, PM Srettha engaged with Andrew Forrest, the executive chairman and founder of Fortescue, a leading global metal mining and green energy company known for producing EV batteries. Fortescue, which reported sales of A$16.8 million (approximately 390.5 million baht) in 2023, expressed its interest in investing in hydrogen battery production and green hydrogen in Thailand.

The Bangkok-born Thai PM also held discussions with Peter Fox, the executive chairman of Linfox. As the biggest privately-owned logistics company in the Asia Pacific, Linfox has maintained a regional office in Bangkok since 1993.

Fox confirmed the company plans to expand its transport logistics operations in Thailand, and that this expansion would involve the establishment of a regional traffic control fleet, which would both transfer new technologies to Thailand and create more job opportunities, reported Bangkok Post.

PM Srettha also met with his Lao counterpart, Sonexay Siphandone, to discuss several bilateral projects. Among these is a plan to construct a new railway bridge across the Mekong River, which is currently under review.

The fifth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, linking Bueng Kan province in Thailand with Bolikhamsai province in Laos, is also nearing completion, with 90% of the construction already finished.

The Thai premier revealed plans to design another railway bridge to cross the Mekong, to facilitate transport within six years. He appealed to Sonexay to expedite the determination of a Common Control Area (CCA) to decrease shipping expenses.

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Author: Alex Morgan