Thailand steps up economic cooperation with China

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Thailand steps up economic cooperation with China

A mini-free trade agreement between Thailand and China is being signed by the coastal city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province. PHOTO VCG BANGKOK - Thailand is stepping up its economic cooperation with China by signing a mini-free trade agreement mini-FTA with the coastal city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province.

The mini-FTA signed on Wednesday marked the seventh mini-FTA between Thailand and its foreign partners, including China's Hainan island and Gansu province, Kofu of Japan, Telangana of India and Busan and Gyeonggi of South Korea.

There are several actions that will be taken under the agreement, such as boosting information exchange, promoting business links, appointing trade representatives and expanding investment opportunities.

Trade ties between China and Thailand have become closer over the past few years under mechanisms such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and mini-FTAs between Thailand and Chinese provinces such as Hainan and Gansu, said Thailand's deputy prime minister Jurin Laksanawisit, who is also minister of commerce.

Thailand is an important market for China. Jurin said that it is an important trading partner. Thailand has set a target for export growth in China this year, including a goal of expanding Thai exports to Shenzhen by 5 percent, he said.

Last year, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shenzhen Municipal Committee CCPIT Shenzhen showed that total exports from Thailand to China hit 102 billion yuan $14.82 billion, a year-on- year increase of 18.6 percent.

Electronic devices and medical appliances from Shenzhen as well as jewelry and agricultural products from Thailand have been welcomed and benefited people from the two countries, said Gu Dongzhong, director of CCPIT Shenzhen.

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He said the mini-FTAs are expected to bring more opportunities to both sides and to deepen trade ties between Shenzhen and Thailand.

In 2022, China was Thailand's largest trading partner with a bilateral trade value of 3.69 trillion baht $107 billion, which was about 18 percent of Thailand's total foreign trade volume, according to the Thai Ministry of Commerce.