Thais Doubt Investors Will Heed Election

A survey of prominent executives in Thailand said there is little belief Sunday’s election will boost investment in Cambo­dia, a Thai newspaper re­ported Sunday.

A survey by the Thai Far­mers Bank of 91 business leaders in Bang­kok and along the Cam­bo­dian border showed that 53.6 percent believed the elections would not pay off.

Respondents said elections alone would not create conditions to increase foreign investment unless the next administration creates an anti-corruption cam­paign and clear investment regulations, according to The Sunday Nation.

Political stability in the country is also key for investors, the report stated.

But only 10.2 percent of those surveyed last week said foreign investment would decrease after the election because of lingering un­certainty, especially if the vote was not acceptable to the international community.

Following the regional currency crisis and the factional fighting in July 1997, capital investment projects approved in Cambodia dropped 5 percent to $760 million in 1997 from the previous year. For the first half of 1998, investment declined more than 63 percent to $147 million.

According to The Sunday Na­tion, Thai investment in Cambo­dia dropped in 1997 to $7.46 million from more than $11 million in 1996. It currently ranks fifth after Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Cross-border trade through border crossings in the Thai provinces of Trat, Chanthaburi and Sa Kaew has also dropped since last year, but trade revived a month ago as Cambodians stocked up on provisions, the paper reported.



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