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Thailand & Japan - Sharing Long-term Investment Relations

Monday , 09 July 2018 ARTICLES

Japanese Festival in Thailand

As mentioned in a previous post, Thailand and Japan have much in common, with the two nations sharing amicable relations across the span of the last several years. Aside from Japan being the first foreign power to set up an embassy in Bangkok in 1987, they both share commonalities in their hospitable practices, still placing emphasis on maintaining acknowledgement for their unique cultural identities. This has shaped an ongoing mutual respect that has resulted in an influx of Japanese living in Thailand. We take a look at this unique relationship between the two monarchies and as well as Japan’s active involvement in Thailand’s investment arena:


Strengthening Relations

Both countries have shared a relatively open-door policy to overseas investments in the interest of mutually boosting their respective economies. Japan has maintained its status as Thailand’s leading investor, with 2017 seeing a staggering 133 billion baht - approximately USD 4 billion – being poured into the Thai economy. This accounted for 47 percent of the total foreign direct investments in Thailand for the entire year.

Thailand and Japan Relations

The two nations have also entered several partnerships during the course of the last few years to bolster socio-economic ties. Japanese car manufacturers, for example, have been leveraging Thailand to enhance technology, production capabilities, and technology transfer.


One area where Japanese have been increasingly invested in is Thailand’s real estate market. May 2018 saw Sansiri tie up with Japanese conglomerate Tokyu Corporation under a new joint venture named Siri TK One Co. The first project that the two companies unveiled was Taka HAUS in Ekkamai, catering to a growing number of Japanese immigrants flocking to the neighbourhood. The development, that was rapidly snapped up by predominantly foreign investors, was one of many in the pipeline to cater to a growing demand for Sansiri’s signature quality condominiums.


Growing vibrant Japanese community

The Japanese have warmed up to Thailand for several reasons. Not only is the country extremely hospitable, it also is well organised, with government policy and regulations related to foreign investment being relatively stable and transparent. It also maintains well-developed infrastructure through its efficient public transport system and access to a relatively low cost of living.


Aside from the two governments and private enterprise working together to strengthen overall ties, a growing number of Japanese have also  moved to Thailand to either work or retire.


Within the capital city, Ekkamai has become a hub for Japanese immigrants, providing a host of amenities conducive towards the area becoming a metaphorical home away from home. The neighbourhood is peppered with Japanese restaurants and stores, with Gateway Ekkamai offering a mix of restaurants, fashion retail, health and beauty shops, as well as an edutainment centre, a large IT zone and a 24 hour supermarket.


Future plans in the making

The two countries’ partnerships and connections show no sign of slowing down. An example of this was seen in at the end of the second quarter of 2017, when seven formal agreements covering industrial upgrades, investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), human development, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises were signed. The agreements were seen as a significant step in Japan’s commitment to support Thailand in its steps towards development.

Those who are looking to be part of a Japan-centric neighbourhood should check out Sansiri’s up-and-coming XT Ekkamai a lifestyle development with convenient access to central Bangkok. With the area developing rapidly to cater to a growing list of migrants, one can expect favourable returns on investments on these units that go for a considerably lower price than those in the city-centre.

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