Guangdong investors plan digital park to cooperate with GBA

Guangdong investors plan digital park to cooperate with GBA

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha greets the Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party for Guangdong province, Li Xi, at Government House on Monday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha greets the Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party for Guangdong province, Li Xi, at Government House on Monday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

An investor group from Guangdong has expressed interest in investing in a new digital park facility in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), as the Chinese province seeks to bolster cooperation in industry investment and tourism development.

The government aspires for the digital park project to become an innovation and technology centre for Asean in partnership with China's Greater Bay Area (GBA) development scheme linking Hong Kong and Macau with nine provinces in China's mainland.

The Guangdong investors' plan is unrelated to the Digital Park of Digital Economy Promotion Agency in Sri Racha, Chon Buri.

Ge Changwei, director-general of the Guangdong Development and Reform Commission, said Chinese investors are seeking business opportunities in the corridor and local partners to establish this project.

"China's government is trying to support Chinese investors to expand their business presence, and Thailand's EEC scheme has the potential to attract new investment flows from Guangdong," he said.

The GBA is also China's new economic corridor, positioned as the key strategic component of the national development blueprint.

The development scheme calls for new cooperative projects with Thailand in many sectors. Industry and tourism are expected to increase trading value between Guangdong and Thailand.

The GBA also wants to connect both countries with expanded transport such as flights and high-speed railways.

Mr Ge said the GBA's economic value stands at roughly US$2 trillion (62.5 trillion baht), marking the strongest economic corridor in China, aimed at developing a world-class city cluster by way of reforms, innovations and investment flows.

In 2018, the GBA saw $24 billion in trading value, a 7% rise.

Investors under the GBA have expertise in smart electronics, robotics/automation, drones, rubber, energy and food, with registration copyrights at the global level.

"We have plans for business matching with Thai companies," Mr Gu said.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said the government is looking for more in-depth and concrete cooperation between Thailand and Guangdong province under the GBA.

"It is time for closer cooperation in Asia to create more strength in the regional economy and self-reliance as the world's economy slows and the trade row escalates," he said. "This is considered an appropriate time for business people from Guangdong to visit Thailand, as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will continue planned infrastructure investment and cooperation with China and Guangdong province."

Mr Somkid said the cooperation between the GBA and the EEC will create benefits for the two countries because Thailand is at the centre of the Southeast Asian and Indochina regions.

Neighbouring countries experience strong economic growth of 6-8% annually on average.

Southeast Asia is the centre of the forthcoming Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.

Guangdong governor Li Xi said Guangdong province is willing to support investors and state-owned enterprises to invest more in Thailand.

"President Xi Jinping vows to promote the province as the gateway to the world, while the world can use the province as the gateway to China," Mr Li said.

Guangdong businesses have invested in a combined 113 projects worth $573 million in Thailand, while Thai investment in Guangdong totals 750 projects worth a combined $650 million.

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