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Thailand aims for next industrialization wave

Economics czar aims to woo high-tech investment to development zone

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak speaks to the Nikkei Asian Review in Fukuoka prefecture, Japan on Feb. 9. (Photo by Masaru Shioyama)

FUKUOKA, Japan -- More than 30 years since industrialization kicked off in Thailand, led by labor-intensive manufacturing industries, the country wants to move to the "next level," Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said on Friday. This will focus on the Eastern Economic Corridor, the much-touted special economic zone aimed at attracting high-tech investment.

The country's economics czar told the Nikkei Asian Review that now is the time to step up, under a military government that has been in power for nearly four years. "Under the normal [political] situation, it is not easy to lay the groundwork or foundation for long-term projects because [politicians] will have to prepare for elections all the time," he said.

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