Teisuke Kitayama Chairman, Japan-Thailand BUSINESS FORUM
On behalf of the Japan Thailand Business Forum, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the Royal Family and the people of Thailand on the auspicious occasion of the 83rd birthday of His Majesty.
The Thai-Japanese relationship spans many centuries. Historical records attest to the existence of relationship as far back as the 15th century. Symbolized by the close relationship between the Royal Family of Thailand and the Imperial Family of Japan, the cordial relationship between the two countries has been strengthening over the years. In particular, the economic tie between the two countries has been deepening in the past few decades, evidenced by the fact that well over 7,000 Japanese companies are operating in Thailand. I had the pleasure of working and living in Thailand for two years from 1995, and personally experienced the strong partnership between the two countries.
Japan-Thailand Business Forum (JTBF) was established in August 2002 under the patronage of the Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo for the purpose of strengthening the Thai-Japanese relationship. As of June, JTBF has 72 members comprising top executive of leading Japanese companies who have worked in Thailand. Current and former top Thai government officials have honored us by becoming JTBF counselors and honorary counselors.
JTBF has been sending a mission to Thailand once a year since 2006. The global economy was in a “once-in-a century recession” when we sent a mission to Thailand in 2009. Since then, the global economy has been recovering thanks to governments’ stimulus packages, but not uniformly. The economic recovery of Japan and other advanced countries remains sluggish, while economies of Thailand and other emerging-market countries continue to remain on the fast expansion track ? a two-speed world. On October 28th, the Bank of Thailand's Monetary Policy Committee announced an economic growth forecast for 2010 of between 7.3% and 8.0%.
Against this backdrop, the further enhancement of the Thai-Japanese relationship is more important than ever before as Japanese companies have embraced globalization and are increasingly shifting their operations to Thailand and other Asian countries. It would indeed be an honor and pleasure for JTBF, with the cooperation of the Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo, to contribute to the further strengthening of the close Thai-Japanese relationship by continuing to promote a wide range of economic initiatives, including tourism and investment, between the two countries.
To conclude, I would like to reiterate my heartfelt congratulations to His Majesty, the Royal Family and the people of Thailand on the auspicious occasion of the 83rd birthday of His Majesty.