Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore are emerging as attractive markets for Japanese investors, said Vice President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC) in Bangkok Fukujiro Yamabe.

Yamabe said that Thailand is no longer the most attractive investment destination in the region because the government has yet to prove its leadership in addressing prolonged political instabilities and standstills in many controversial projects at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Park.

The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) has been creating favourable conditions for Japanese businesses to operate in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) market as six economies, including Brunei , Indonesia , Malaysia , the Philippines , Singapore and Thailand applied zero import tariff as of January 1, he said.

Except Thailand , other countries in the bloc and India have seen good results in foreign investment attraction, he added.

According to Yamabe, Japanese investors plan to increase investment in ASEAN in the coming years in order to tap the region’s potentials.

Japan is now the leading foreign investor in Thailand with a total registered investment capital of 54.63 billion Thb (1.65 billion USD) in the first 11 months of 2009, representing a sharp fall compared to 97.64 billion Thb of the same period in 2008./.