Strategic deal with China close to reality
text size

Strategic deal with China close to reality

Partnership to build economic cooperation

Thailand is enthusiastic about signing a strategic partnership with China to enhance economic cooperation between the two countries.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said the partnership will create better benefits for both countries than the free-trade area agreement that centres largely on tariff reductions for trade.

Mr Somkid is scheduled to head the Thai economic team visiting China this week.

He said the cabinet already approved a Commerce Ministry proposal to upgrade strategic economic cooperation with China.

The plan will cover six areas:

- Cooperation on trade and investment, especially on investment in targeted industries such as smart automotive, smart electronics, bioeconomy, robotics, aviation and logistics.

- Cooperation on science, technology and innovation while Thailand targets a partnership with China on food innovation.

- Cooperation on information technology and bilateral cooperation on exchange cooperation on software, human resource development on digital, and establishing a working committee on the digital economy.

- Financial cooperation and promotion of using yuan and baht for payment on trade and investment and promoting financial innovation.

- Cooperation on tourism, focusing on promoting quality tourism in both Thailand and China.

- Cooperation to enhance existing regional cooperation such as the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and Lancang-Mekong Cooperation.

Mr Somkid expects the cooperation to raise trade volume and intra-investment between the two sides more effectively than under the previous agreement.

In August this year, Thailand and China signed five memorandums of understanding for the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme and aimed to raise the value of trade and investment between the two nations in excess of US$140 billion (4.6 trillion baht) by 2021, up from $73 billion in 2017.

On the itinerary, Mr Somkid is scheduled to meet Wang Yong, a member of China’s State Council, on Wednesday in Beijing.

His China visit also aims to lure investment from major Chinese companies that are expected to relocate investment to Asean on concerns over the trade row between China and the US.

Mr Somkid said Thailand aims to build connectivity between Thailand’s EEC and China’s Belt and Road initiative, and between the EEC and China’s Pan-Pearl River Delta and GBA.

Two-way trade between Thailand and China totalled $73.67 billion in 2017, up 11.9% from 2016. In the first six months of 2018, the value rose 12.9% year-on-year to $39.39 billion.

Do you like the content of this article?