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International relations

Thailand's top investor is Japan again, as China slows spending

Overall foreign direct investment in Southeast Asian country sinks 54%

A man works in the automobile production line of the Honda Motor plant in Thailand's Prachinburi Province.    © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Foreign direct investment in Thailand plunged last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, data released Thursday shows, but spending from Japan increased, allowing it to top China as the leading investor in the Southeast Asian country.

Foreign companies applied to make roughly 213.1 billion baht ($7.14 billion) in direct investments, a 54% drop, Thailand's Board of Investment reported. The number of applications dipped 3% to 907 filings.

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