People wave Thailand's national flag (Photo: todayonline.com)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand invested 64.75 billion THB (about 1.9 billion USD) into other ASEAN nations, accounting for 27 percent of the total of 242.9 billion THB channelled overseas from January to September this year, according to the Bank of Thailand.

The central bank’s data shows that net investment outflows from Thailand to other ASEAN countries have been constantly increasing over the past four years.

The ASEAN Economic Community, scheduled to take shape on December 31, 2015, promises free flow of trade, investment and labour. Setting up Thailand’s factories in the regional countries will be cost-saving, especially in terms of labour expenses.

Big Thai corporate names like Amata, Siam Cement Group, and PTT Group are among the firms making forays into other ASEAN nations that boast fast economic growth, low labour cost and rich natural resources such as Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Thai investors are also investing in the retail industries in ASEAN countries to pave the way for Thai goods into those markets, taking advantage of zero percent tariffs.

In early 2015, the Central Group spent some 100 million USD on buying 49 percent of the charter capital of the Nguyen Kim company in Vietnam with the intention to turn the firm into a leading consumer electronics retailer in Southeast Asia.

ThaiBev, a beverage company, also indirectly became the biggest foreign shareholder of Vietnam’s Vinamilk diary company after gaining control of Singapore’s largest beverage firm, Fraser&Neave.

Thailand’s small- and medium-sized businesses such as Siang Pure Oil Group, MK Restaurant and Coca Holding International are also making inroads into the regional markets by opening branches there.-VNA