Thailand has signed a 70-billion-yuan (S$14.3 billion) swap agreement with China to strengthen trade and investment between the two nations, the highlight of a three-day official visit by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping seen as highly significant domestically and diplomatically.
Attending the signing with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday, Xi hailed Thailand’s importance for regional peace and development. The swap agreement for 70 billion yuan, or about Bt320 billion (S$7.8 billion), was signed by Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul and Hu Xiaolian, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China.
Apart from its economic importance, the mega-deal puts an international spotlight on Thailand as a strategically important country as far as Sino-US political and economic competition is concerned.
Xi, the man expected to take over as China’s top leader next year, arrived in Thailand yesterday on a three-day official visit to the Kingdom as the guest of the Thai government. Thai sources said Yingluck was paying personal attention to the details of his welcome, underlying the importance Thailand attaches to this visit.