Siam Cement boss talks up Thai recovery

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Thailand: The Siam Cement Group (SGC) has said that Thailand's economy is expected to recover rapidly from the current flooding thanks to anticipated massive spending on infrastructure development. It believes that this development will boost the country's competitiveness in the coming Asean Economic Community (AEC).

Speaking at the Asean Business and Investment Summit in Bali, Indonesia, Kan Trakulhoon, chief executive and president of SGC, said that as soon as the floodwater recedes, much of the country's logistical infrastructure will be repaired. He said that new infrastructure would also be developed, particularly water-management systems. The proposed infrastructure development is meant to prevent flooding but could also spur growth.

"A decade ago we developed very few infrastructure projects such as electric trains and an airport. Now it is time to turn crisis into opportunity and kick off more projects. The infrastructure will enhance the country's competitiveness in the long run," said Kan. He added that Thailand still had much potential for direct foreign investment because of its skilled workforce, research and development spending and its location within the Asean region.

"Signs of recovery are emerging such as sales of building materials and cement in November 2011 returning to normal, following a 40% contraction in October 2011," he said. Kan said that SCG remained committed to its USD5bn five-year investment plan for 2012-16 in all of its business sectors despite the flooding.

The recent floods have affected more than 2 million people in central Thailand and disrupted supply chains for many business and manufacturing sectors.

Last modified on 22 November 2011

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