New Directions in Australia Thailand Trade and Investment

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Australian companies have been investing in S E Asia since the tin boom one hundred years ago. Thailand’s companies are the second most keen investors in Australia especially by resourse sector giants BANPU and PTT.But investment in Thailand by Australian companies is only about $1.8 billion. A high level of enthusiasm by Australian companies who are operating in Thailand was marred recently by the arrest of Australian businesswoman Clare Florence, on criminal defamation charges. Clare Florence has been a consultant to the Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce.


Australian company managers of Thai based Bluescope Steel and Futuris Group recently addressed the Thai Board of Inestmnt. Bluescope’s Paul O’Malley spoke on the joint venture with Thai partner Loxley Group, which has been operating for 24 years. Futuris has only een in Thailnd for two years and is confident it can operate as stand alone Australian enterprise. Futuris supplies Australian designed products and production methods to the Asian car manufacturing industry. The companies have concerns about transition of free trade agreements between Australia and Thailand. They are aware that there are infrastructure problems but are confident that the recent political stability will enhance the opportunity for the Thai govrnment’s efforts to address these problems. Australian trained Thai graduates should be of great benefit to any Australian company wishing to expand to S E Asia.

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