Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's military regime has struggled to attract new foreign investment. Will his US$57 billion Eastern Economic Corridor scheme turn the tide?

With democratic elections on the horizon and a supposed end to direct military rule in sight, are foreign investors prepared to commit more capital to Thailand?

Coup-installed Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, despite various schemes to promote foreign-invested manufacturing and technology businesses, has largely failed to attract significant new foreign direct investments (FDI), one of the key drivers of Thailand’s export-oriented economy for the past three decades.

According to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) figures, Thailand attracted a mere US$1.5 billion in FDI in 2016, well below the levels received by most of its Southeast Asian neighbors. Last year, Vietnam attracted US$12.6 billion, Malaysia’s US$9.9 billion, Philippines US$7.9 billion, Myanmar US$2.1 billion and Cambodia US$1.9 billion.

MORE Junta-run Thailand grasps for more FDI | Asia Times