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Chinese investors courted

BANGKOK: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has invited the Chinese to scale up their investment in Thailand, saying the country’s strategic location perfectly positions it as a hub for regional logistics.

ChineseCoronavirusCOVID-19constructioneconomics
By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 6 July 2022, 08:57AM


Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi, left, make their way out of Government House following talks on a wide range of topics. Mr Wang arrived on Monday for a two-day visit. Photo: Government House photo

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi, left, make their way out of Government House following talks on a wide range of topics. Mr Wang arrived on Monday for a two-day visit. Photo: Government House photo

Prayut conveyed the message to Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who paid a courtesy call to Government House yesterday (July 5) as part of his two-day visit.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana provided a summary of the meeting, saying the prime minister thanked China for all its help and support during the pandemic.

Prayut expressed concern about floods that have struck southern China, saying he hoped the situation would be brought under control quickly, reports the Bangkok Post.

He praised the two countries’ close relationship and hailed the 10th anniversary this year of their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Both sides agreed in principle to strengthen ties further, the spokesman said.

The prime minister also spoke positively of the growing volume of bilateral trade, which has jumped over 20% this year between January and April. He also thanked China for facilitating shipments of Thai agricultural goods to China.

“Gen Prayut also invited China to scale up its investment in Thailand,” Mr Thanakorn said.

The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is ready for investment in industries Chinese companies specialise in, such as electric cars and the agro-industry, the spokesman quoted the PM as saying.

China attaches great importance to improved connectivity courtesy of the China-Laos railway project and Thailand’s expanding railway system, as it believes this will boost trade and tourism, Mr Thanakorn said.

Prayut said the government is trying to ensure the Thai-Chinese high-speed railway project will be completed on schedule.

The two sides agreed to seek ways to address future obstacles for the mutual benefit of people in the region. China also proposed a trilateral meeting with Laos to ensure swift progress on the railway and other projects.

Prayut commended China for allowing Thai commercial airlines to resume flights to the country while permitting Thai students to return to continue their studies, the spokesman said.

China reiterated its support for Thailand to host this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit. If President Xi Jinping is available, he may also attend in person, Mr Thanakorn quoted Mr Wang as saying.

China ranked second in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Thailand last year, with B38.6 billion pledged for 112 projects. Japan topped the list with a combined investment value of B80.7bn for 178 projects. Singapore was third with B29.7bn for 96 projects.

CBRE Phuket

The top three sectors for FDI applications were electrical appliances and electronics, petrochemicals and chemicals, and medical clusters.

According to the Board of Investment (BoI), FDI represented 71% of all the investment pledges worth B455bn in 2021 for a total of 783 project applications, nearly triple the value of 2020 when the applications amounted to B169bn.

Mr Wang arrived in Thailand on Monday and also met his Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai for talks yesterday. They discussed a range of topics including efforts to strengthen bilateral cooperation with a focus on China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

His visit followed his attendance at the 7th Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bagan, Myanmar.

Wang said China and Thailand have many common goals supporting their mutual development.

“The aim of building [a global community] corresponds to the saying ‘China-Thailand are not strangers, but siblings’. It will make our relationship even stronger,” he said.

“I think the people of the two countries will believe in our attempt to develop closer ties,” he added.

Wang said both sides agreed to initiate the Thailand-Laos-China Economic Corridor, which would link Thailand’s EEC with similar projects in Lao and southern China’s Yunnan province. Thailand would then be able to deliver products to Europe via this new land-sea corridor.

“Our aim is to push forward logistics, trade and investment to develop these industries in all three countries,” he said.

The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding on enhanced cyber cooperation yesterday.

Wang said China is looking forward to Thailand hosting this year’s Apec summit, the first since the COVID-19 pandemic surfaced.

“We hope this summit will focus on the Asia-Pacific, development and a regional free trade area,” he said.

“Apec, with Thailand as the chair this year, will make this economic framework more vibrant and developed,” he added.

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Kamala Pete | 08 July 2022 - 12:25:43

Pooliekev, I hope you're being assiduous with your chinese language and culture lessons - you may need the skills sooner than you think!

Kamala Pete | 08 July 2022 - 12:16:28

Standard chinese MO. Target nation takes loans to develop ports, rail etc. China builds them with chinese  labour, materials etc. then keeps  control until loan paid off. All monies straight back to China. Look what they did to Sri Lanka. Already too late for Laos after huge hydro schemes. Great business model for China!

Pooliekev | 07 July 2022 - 18:20:12

That's more than America and UK is offering. More sanctions and wars anybody?

Fascinated | 06 July 2022 - 13:07:30

Is anyone keeping count of the hubs- its off the scale. Just another vassal state for the future. Just the opportunity the Thai-Chinese have been waiting for- all part of the master plan.

JohnC | 06 July 2022 - 09:19:49

He must need to top us his own assets as he gets nearer to being kicked out of the top job. Keep those plain brown paper bags coming....

 

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