Danish investors are calling for a solid flood protection plan in Ayutthaya, among the worst-hit provinces in the 2011 floods, to secure their investments worth a combined 5 billion baht.
The move came amid an ongoing financial dispute over a plan to build a dyke at Saha Rattana Nakorn Industrial Estate, the location of a major Danish investment.
Danish Ambassador Mikael Hemniti Winther yesterday said his government wanted to see a clear plan on how to prevent flooding at Saha Rattana Nakorn. Ecco (Thailand), a global footwear producer established in Denmark in 1963, is located in that estate.
“We want to be certain the area will be fully protected from flooding, as Danish companies have invested 5 billion baht in Thailand,” Mr Winther said.
Ecco is looking into expanding in Asean to capitalise on opportunities after implementation of the Asean Economic Community.
More than 100 Danish companies have invested in Thailand, ranging from green technology to materials. Denmark’s government provides support to its investors expanding to to foreign markets such as Asean.
Land developer Saha Rattana Nakorn owns and operates the estate under the guidance of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT).
A contract was signed to build a flood-prevention dyke around the estate, with the IEAT shouldering 67% of the construction costs and Saha Rattana Nakorn the rest. But Saha Rattana Nakorn is undergoing…
“The Saha Rattana Nakorn estate broke the agreement irresponsibly. It said because it was undergoing rehabilitation, it could not pay for the project,” Industry Minister Chakramon Phasukvanich said.
But he said the government would seek ways to deal with the company’s financial problems in order to continue the flood prevention plan and retain Danish investor confidence.
Mr Chakramon has assigned the IEAT to negotiate with Saha Rattana Nakorn to see whether the government can help to accelerate the debt rehabilitation or offer any help in resuming dyke construction.