Most Japanese companies to stay in Thailand despite floods

Most Japanese companies with subsidiaries in Thailand plan to stay in their current locations despite last year's devastating floods, a Japanese trade official said Thursday.

Thai-Japanese Chamber of Commerce official Yoshito Kato said only three Japanese electronics manufacturing companies have made plans to relocate as a result of the floods, which badly disrupted supply chains dependent on factories located in industrial zones north of the Thai capital.

"Most of these companies will stay in the same locations in Thailand, that's for sure. Most of the companies will be back to full capacity by April or May," Kato added.

According to a survey of Thai-Japanese joint ventures published this week by the Japan External Trade Organisation, some 8 per cent of the 366 respondents said they planned to relocate to other countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia or Vietnam.

The survey said about 64 per cent of the responding Japanese companies see overall business conditions in Thailand improving, while 18 per cent were pessimistic.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is scheduled to visit Japan on March 6-9 in a bid to regain the confidence of Japanese investors.

Kato said Japanese investors hoped Yingluck's government would implement effective flood-prevention policies and keep Japanese-based companies informed of its plans.
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