EEC to host surprising bedfellows

EEC to host surprising bedfellows

China execs join forces with Japanese peers

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (right) speaks with Zhao Tao (centre), chairman of the Air Business College. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (right) speaks with Zhao Tao (centre), chairman of the Air Business College. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Up to 40 Chinese executives will take part in Sino-Japanese Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) development efforts as they strive to strengthen bilateral cooperation in third-party markets.

A new wave of Chinese business representatives is flocking to Thailand to explore investment opportunities, emphasising the remarkable development of economic cooperation between Thailand and China, now the No.1 trade partner of Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy.

A seminar to be held in Bangkok today was organised under a memorandum of understanding between China and Japan on business cooperation in third countries signed on May 9, said Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Office.

The cooperation is meant to enhance Thailand's investment climate and promote private investment in the EEC.

Under the agreement, the two countries will establish a service trade cooperation mechanism to actively promote reciprocal cooperation in the service sector, Mr Kanit said.

The two parties also agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in third-party markets by establishing a cross-department working mechanism.

Industry Minister Uttama Savanayan will make the seminar's opening remarks today. Ning Jizhe, vice-chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission, and Shiro Sadoshima, Japan's ambassador to Thailand, are two of the event's main speakers.

Panel speakers will include Li Zhigang, vice-chairman of the Chinese-Thai Enterprises Association; Isao Kuroda, chairman of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce; and Mr Kanit.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday received Air Business College chairman Zhao Tao and Chinese business representatives exploring investment opportunities in Thailand, said Werachon Sukondhapatipak, deputy government spokesman.

In the last few years, the government has introduced various projects aimed at strengthening the Sino-Thai trade relationship, including Thailand 4.0, Thailand+1 and the EEC, in which China enjoys special investment privileges.

"The Chinese business sector has expressed confidence in Thailand's potential as a favourable investment destination," Lt Gen Werachon said.

The prime minister underscored the importance of strategic connectivity between Thailand and China, especially China's One Belt One Road initiative, which could enhance economic cooperation between the two countries.

Mr Zhao expressed interest in investing in pharmaceuticals, property, education, finance, culture, tourism and industrial factories in the EEC.

The two parties discussed the economic trends faced by Thailand and China.

"The government strives to promote investments through the development of the digital economy and innovation on the basis of fair competition and social responsibility," Gen Prayut said.

Thailand also has a plan to promote the EEC as a new-generation economic zone driven by technologies and innovations.

As a country renowned for technology development, China will help drive Thailand's new economy into the future, Gen Prayut said.

Mr Zhao commended Thailand's national mobilisation process and voiced confidence in the country's potential as a favourable investment destination that will accommodate inward foreign investment in the long run.

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