German enterprises in Thailand said they are keen to invest and expand their businesses in this country, especially to take part in the Bt2-trillion infrastructure development project. However, they also maintained that corruption is unacceptable and should be seriously tackled under the law.
Karl-Heinze Heckhausen, president of the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce (GTCC), said as foreign investors in Thailand, German investors wanted to keep out of Thailand's politics. He said investors are still confident of doing business and investing here."A protest is a democratic way that shows people participation. I've no worries about the investment environment in Thailand, despite the recent protests. Of course, business people would prefer normal circumstances and any disagreement should be debated in the parliament," said Heckhausen
Asked about the corruption problem in Thailand, the GTCC president said that German investors do not accept it. They are very strict and comply with law and regulations. Corruption is a bad thing and German enterprises are very serious on the issue, he said.
Speaking during "Business Talk" organised at German Residence, Heckhausen also said that many German investors would like expand and make new investments in Thailand, especially under the Bt2-trillion project.
He said 10 German firms involved in technology, engineering and machinery and automobile industry would like to start new investment in the Kingdom. With Thailand's focus on infrastructure development, and being considered as a centre of ASEAN integration, Thailand could draw in more investment from Germany, he added.
However, Heckhausen expressed concern over the labour shortage in the country as it could not serve the demand for personnel of many foreign firms.
The shortage of qualified workers should be solved soon. German investors have also tried to train more young generation to become qualified workers.
Marc Saxer, resident director at Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, said that many foreign investors, including Germans, remained highly concerned about Thailand's political situation. The current problem is not new for them, but it still destroys the investment environment for Thailand.
Investors hope the problem will be resolved in a short period, he said.
German Ambassador to Thailand Rolf Schulze said many German investors would like to invest in Thailand.
He said the German government and German businesses are eager to stay engaged with Thailand. Some German companies may even decide on major new investment in Thailand soon. This would be an additional sign of trust in the future development of this country, he said.
At present, nearly, 600 German companies are based and active in Thailand.