Atlanta companies interested in doing business in Thailand should contact Jennifer Bremer, director of the Center for Emerging Markets in Washington, D.C., which is affiliated with the Kenan Institute of Private at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, according to Nitya Pibulsonggram, Thailand’s ambassador to the U.S.

      Mr. Pibulsonggram told GlobalFax during a press conference at the World Trade Center that the Kenan Institute Asia (KIAsia) was in the forefront of putting together U.S. and Thai companies on a variety of projects in the areas of environmental management and technology, health issues, infrastructure development, information technology and capital markets development.

      KIAsia, which also is affiliated with the Kenan Institute, took over many of the activities of the U.S. Agency for International Development  (USAID)’s office in Bangkok last summer.

      Since Thailand has had one of the fastest-growing economies in the world during the past decade, USAID decided that its 45-year mission of economic development in the country should be terminated.  KIAsia was launched with more than $10 million of financial support form the Thai and U.S. governments and the Kenan Institute.

      Dr. Bremer told GlobalFax in a telephone interview last week that these funds have served as a catalyst for drawing additional funds from both Thai and U.S. private investors.

      Thailand, she said, is actively developing areas outside of Bangkok which is overpopulated.  As an example, she cited the transformation of the U’Tathao base, formerly a U.S. air base, which is being developed as an air cargo and industrial center.

      She also mentioned the joint venture between New York-based Nynex and the Thai-based CP Group as an example of a partnership in the telecommunications sector.

      The environmental sector also had many opportunities, she said, because the country’s expanding middle class is demanding that the nation’s contaminated water and air be cleaned up.  She also said that there were new opportunities in such diverse areas as telemedicine and the development of the country’s financial sector.

      Dr. Bremer may be reached at (202) 289-6282.