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Thai Prime Minister Reassures Foreign Investors


Thailand's military-installed Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont has assured foreign investors that the country still wants their business, despite recent moves to tighten investment regulations.

Mr. Surayud told a gathering of diplomats a nd business executives Wednesday that Thailand will continue to engage with the global economy and called 2007 the year of "great reforms."

He said the government would work to put the economy back on track. He also said the government is considering liberalizing some restrictions on foreign ownership in Thai companies, but gave no details or time frame.

Mr. Surayud's interim administration has irked foreign investors over the past month, instituting new restrictions on foreign investment and placing limits on foreign ownership of Thai companies.

Bombings on New Year's eve have also shaken the confidence of investors.

A bloodless coup in September of last year brought Mr. Surayud to power, ousting former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from office.

Mr. Surayud told investors that the government's policies and reforms are designed to bring more transparency, efficiency and the rule of law to business and politics.

The prime minister promised that free and fair political elections would take place by the end of the year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP .