BANGKOK – While China is already Thailand’s second largest trading partner,trade and investment between Thailand and China will reach US$100 billion in 2015, a sharp increase from US$64.7 billion in 2011. Also last year, Chinese investment in Thailand was worth approximately US$920 million, which was 1.5 times more than previous year, according to the Thai ambassador to Beijing.
Wiboon Kusakul said a vast country like China is an ideal market for Thailand’s trade and investment, while newly elected president Xi Jinping has announced his support for boosting international trade.
Thailand’s investment in China is currently more than US$6 billion.
Chinese ambassador to Bangkok Guan Mu said the new president’s policies will contribute to development in China.
In an effort to strengthen relations between Thailand and other provinces in China, the prime minister would like to establish a Thai- Sichuan working group, in addition to the working groups already established with Yunnan, Guangdong, and Xiamen.
Thailand would like Chinese investors to expand their investment in Thailand, especially in the production of rubber, automotive parts, machinery, and electronics, and also in environment-friendly industries and renewable energy.
With ASEAN about to form one of the world’s largest economic communities in 2015, with the ASEAN- China FTA and Thailand’s bilateral relations with China strong, with a growing economy and strengthening infrastructure, Thailand is clearly the place to invest in Asia.
Thailand is also favorite Chinese tourist destination, as is China for Thai vacationers, but here too each is looking to increase the number of tourists by 20 percent within the next five years. The prime minister called on China to allow the Tourism Authority of Thailand to set up a tourism office in Guangzhou to facilitate the travel to Thailand by Chinese tourists. In 2012 there are likely to be two million, Chinese tourists visiting Thailand, which would be an increase from 1.7 million recorded in 2011. About 600,000 Thais visited China last year.