Royal-invested companies and Burma

15 11 2010

The Bangkok Post has a most useful story on why the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime, and especially its royalist-capitalist wing, has so wholeheartedly jumped into bed with the Burmese regime. It says: “Thai heavy industry is likely to shift to industrial estates in Burma’s western coastal city of Dawei instead of setting up facilities in southern Thailand or Map Ta Phut…”. Map Ta Phut has been a problem for them – including several royally-invested firms.

Just who is likely to invest?  The story says: “Companies planning to invest in a Dawei industrial estate include PTT Plc, Siam Cement Group and the upstream complex of a Japanese steel company.” Both groups have had considerable trouble at Map Ta Phut, so what better way to solve a problem of environment and  “civil society” than to go and invest in Burma, where the military can guard them from all business and political threats, or so they think.

According to the NESDB, “It is quite clear, he said, that more heavy industry cannot be located in Map Ta Phut in Rayong, while the agency’s survey showed residents in the South disagreed with the establishment of an oil refinery and petrochemical complex.”

PPT wonders when they will add the gimmicky ideas about how this is sufficiency economy and good for Thailand… even nationalist? Oops, the latter has already begun: “It is predicted Dawei’s wide-ranging infrastructure project will strengthen Thai competitiveness with improved access to raw materials such as natural gas and ore for the steel industry from the Middle East and South Africa.”

And guess which obedient leader has helped out, yet again? “Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva also sought the support of the Chinese government for the Dawei project on the sidelines of the G20 meetings last Friday, encouraging Chinese companies to set up projects in an industrial estate planned by Thailand’s Amata Corp.”

All so predictable.



One response

15 01 2011
Looking west (or north) | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] by Htet Aung, that readers might like to link with our earlier post on this project here, here and here. Tavoy […]

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