Chinese keen on Thailand despite slowing economy
Chinese investment in Thailand and Asean is expected to continue despite the slow global economy, according to the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
President Jitti Tangsithphakdi said China's slowdown has forced the Chinese to invest more outside the country and the nearby Asean region is an ideal destination.
Mr Jitti said even though the pace of Thailand's economic recovery remains slow this year, Chinese investors will keep investing in Thailand due its strategic location in the middle of Asean.
"We are all businessmen and we will keep investing here even though the economy has yet to fully recover," said Mr Jitti.
The long historic relationship between the two countries has also facilitated Chinese investment in Thailand.
The two nations will celebrate the 106th anniversary of bilateral ties this year, he said.
In the first nine months of 2015, China ranked as the fourth biggest foreign investor in Thailand with investment submitted to the Board of Investment (BoI) worth more than 12 billion baht, according to data from the BoI.
Mr Jitti said with greater support from the Thai and Chinese governments he expected trade ties and economic co-operation between the two countries to be tightened. However, he declined to elaborate how much trade value will increase.
"To stimulate investment between the two countries, collaboration at the government level might not be enough since Chinese investors require Thai partners to help them run their operations here more smoothly," said Mr Jitti.
Moreover, Chinese investors also need in-depth information about Thailand's economy and politics, and the Thai- Chinese are well placed to play a major role with regard to this, he added.
Mr Jitti said the chamber has more than 200 members, including leading companies in almost every sector of the economy. This is an advantage the chamber is playing up in its effort to woo Chinese investors.
The chamber will take a more active approach by setting up 14 departments to help facilitate Chinese investors interested in Thailand, he said.
Mr Jitti said the chamber planned to set up a one-stop service centre for Chinese investors by working with related government agencies, including the Ministry of Commerce and the BoI, to help Chinese investors who want to set up business in Thailand.