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Thailand sees foreign investment boom as trade war escalates

Foreign investment into Thailand surged in the first quarter, further evidence that Southeast Asian nations are benefiting as businesses seek new locations in the region to avoid an escalating US-China trade war.

Applications for foreign direct investment climbed to 84.1bn baht ($2.7bn) in the first quarter, up 253 per cent from the same period last year, according to Pisit Puapan, executive director of the Ministry of Finance’s Macroeconomic Policy Bureau, citing official data from the nation’s Board of Investment.

Thailand joins countries like Malaysia and Vietnam that are reporting soaring investment as global supply chains shift. Approved FDI into Malaysia’s manufacturing rose 127 per cent in the first quarter from a year ago, and the central bank governor recently said the positive spinoff from the trade war could add 10 basis points to economic growth.

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