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Sony, Harley-Davidson, Others Move Production from China to Thailand

At least 10 firms are in the process of relocating. More than a dozen others might follow.

Thai officials glimpse a silver lining in the U.S.-China trade war as companies such as Sony Corp. move production to Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

At least 10 firms are in the process of relocating some production to Thailand from China, according to the National Economic & Social Development Council. More than a dozen others could potentially choose Thailand, it said in a statement.

“We may not see the impact on the economy now, but in the second half of 2019, it could become a positive factor for growth,” the agency’s Deputy Secretary-General Wichayayuth Boonchit said Monday.

Trade tension is sapping growth in Asia’s export-dependent economies, sparking calls for looser monetary and fiscal policies. Nations such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand are also vying to lure investment from manufacturers seeking to escape U.S. tariffs on imports from China.

The 10 firms moving some manufacturing to Thailand include Sony, Sharp Corp., Harley-Davidson Inc. and Delta Electronics Inc. Most have finalized locations near Bangkok or in the Eastern Economic Corridor development zone on the east coast of Thailand, according to the economic and social development agency.

Earlier Monday, the agency said the country’s gross domestic product rose 2.3% in the second quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace in almost five years, as the U.S.-China spat took its toll.

Siraphob Thanthong-Knight and Suttinee Yuvejwattana

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