– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Trafficking feared to drive away investment, tourists
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Extensive news coverage on the mass graveyards of migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh in Ranong could drive away potential investment into the southern province, said a prominent businessman.

Nit Uitekkeng, former chairman of the Ranong Provincial Chamber of Commerce, said that the province’s image is tarnished following the reports that government officials are involved in human trafficking.

Ranong has been a potential location to win more investment from those expecting to reap benefits from the economic integration in Asean, as well as the opening of the Myanmar economy, he said. Yet, the traffcking may drive away some of the projects.

Ranong is now known as the center of gray business, he said. The impression is that the province is full of officials extorting money from others. Investors in the province could be regarded as being part of the vicious cycle.

He also noted that what happened may also erode tourist confidence in the province.

— Phuket Gazette Editors