Sunday, September 24, 2023
Srettha Thavisin, the new prime minister of Thailand, stated on Sunday that the nation anticipated receiving investments of at least $5 billion from Tesla, Google, and Microsoft.
Although he did not specify if the $5 billion was anticipated to be a combined investment or funded separately by each company, Thavisin said: "Tesla would be looking into an EV manufacturing facility, Microsoft and Google are looking at data centres."
Srettha revealed the news to reporters in Bangkok after addressing the UN General Assembly in New York and meeting with business executives earlier this week.
However, Tesla, Google, and Microsoft have not yet commented on Thavisin's remarks, according to Reuters.
Thailand's economy is expected to grow by 2.8% this year with the help of fresh foreign investment despite weaker exports.
Thavisin said on Thursday he held talks with Tesla chief Elon Musk during a visit to New York and they discussed Musk's EV manufacturer Tesla and his rocket and satellite company SpaceX, including its internet venture Starlink.
Thailand, Asia's fourth-largest automobile assembly hub, has been offering incentives to EV and battery makers, and tax cuts to local EV buyers, to remain a regional auto centre.
Automakers with plants in Thailand include Toyota and Honda. The country produces about 1.5 million to 2 million vehicles annually, of which about half are exported.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining popularity in Southeast Asia, with EVs accounting for 6.4% of passenger car sales in the second quarter, up from 3.8% in the first quarter.
Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia are currently the top markets, with Chinese carmakers like BYD leading by a wide margin.