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Srettha urges Japan automakers to switch focus to EVs

Prime Minister and Finance Minister Srettha Thavisin has warned Japanese automakers could be "left behind" unless they quickly transition to producing more electric vehicles (EVs), as rivals from China claim market share in the Southeast Asian country.

The businessman-turned-politician made the remark during an interview with Japanese media Tuesday ahead of his visit to Tokyo to attend a summit on Sunday between Japan and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) members.

“You have been lagging in terms of EV manufacturing or developing,” Srettha said, stressing the Japanese automobile industry needs to catch up with the global electrification trend.

“We have had productive discussions with Toyota and Honda in terms of giving them tax incentives” to help the Japanese automakers progress the development of EVs, he said.

Srettha: You have been lagging.

Japanese companies, including Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co, have been the biggest foreign investors in Thailand for the last 50 years, Mr Srettha said, expressing his eagerness to assist the Japanese companies continued involvement.

During the visit for the summit to mark 50 years of friendship and cooperation between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Mr Srettha will meet executives of Japanese companies, including the automakers, he said, emphasising his hope that “positive conclusions” can be reached.

Read more: Thai government grants visa access to Japanese firms

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