Thailand: Strategic deal with China close to reality

  • 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.
  • He said the cabinet already approved a Commerce Ministry proposal to upgrade strategic economic cooperation with China.
  • Mr Somkid expects the cooperation to raise trade volume and intra-investment between the two sides more effectively than under the previous agreement in Aug 18 for the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
  • 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 USD73.67bn in 2017, up 11.9% from 2016. In 1H18, the value rose 12.9% y/y to USD39.39bn.

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