(Bloomberg) -- Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin met with executives from Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Thursday, as part of efforts to convince US companies to invest more in the Southeast Asian nation after his coalition ended a near-decade rule by military-backed parties.
Srettha also spoke to Elon Musk and other executives of Tesla Inc., SpaceX and Starlink Inc. in a video conference about possible cooperation in the electric vehicles and space exploration, government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said in a statement. While Tesla executives praised Thailand’s human resource potential, Srettha promised to extend all support and investment benefits to Tesla and Starlink, he said.
Executives of Microsoft, a long-time investor in Thailand, said the country had the potential to emerge as a regional hub for data centers and the tech giant will continue to support the private and public sector companies in their use of cloud computing and development of engineering talent. Google executives also showed interest in investing in Cloud-First centers in Thailand, Chai said.
Srettha, who is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly meetings, said he was impressed with the technological advance made by Tesla, SpaceX and Starlink and he was looking forward to further discussions and inspirational success of EV and space exploration breakthrough.
Srettha, who heads an 11-party coalition government that took power early this month, is courting US investment as the Southeast Asian nation struggles to match the pace of economic growth of its neighbors. In an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, Srettha said his goal is to jump-start annual economic growth to an average 5% over his term, partly by boosting manufacturing and investments from American companies, including Tesla.
The prime minister also met with a senior Goldman Sachs executive and invited the US firm to explore setting up a base in Thailand, he told reporters. Earlier this week, Srettha also met BlackRock Inc. CEO Larry Fink and urged him to consider investing in sustainable bonds issued by the government. He also invited cosmetics maker Estee Lauder Cos. to invest in Thailand.
Srettha said more follow-up meetings with US firms will be scheduled in November when he will return to the country to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
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