Thai-Chinese trade group signs MoU with Shantou cooperation bureau

Economy August 05, 2014 01:00

By Somluck Srimalee
The Nation

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The Thai-Chinese Promotion of Investment and Trade Association yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Shantou Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau on boosting investment and trade.

“Thailand will be a springboard for our investment in the Asean Economic Community for trade, service, finance, and manufacturing,” Chen Maohui, secretary of the Chinese Communist Party’s Shantou Municipal Committee, said after witnessing the MoU signing ceremony in Bangkok yesterday. 
He added that Shantou, a prefecture-level city in Guangdong province, would also be a gateway for Thai investors to expand their business in China.
Last year, Shantou attracted more than US$8.7 billion (Bt280 billion) in foreign investment. The city boasts a deep-sea port and a special economic zone. 
Australian investors have set up an infrastructure fund worth $5 billion for development in Shantou, which they plan to boost to $20 billion in the future. 
This should make the city even more attractive for investors.
Chen said he was confident that two-way trade and investment between his city and Thailand would be beneficial for both sides.
Thanakorn Seriburi, chairman of the Thai-Chinese Promotion of Investment and Trade Association, said the MoU would encourage both parties to expand investment and trade. 
“Shantou is a special economic zone in China whose location is close to Thailand. It has [the potential] to be a gateway for Thailand’s investors to expand in China for the long term,” he said.
Currently, Thai investors have business in Shantou in agriculture, manufacturing, trade and services, especially tourism. Shantou investors are interested in doing business in Thailand in agriculture, food processing, furniture manufacturing, and trade. 
“Shantou has agricultural-processing technology, especially for rice, rubber, palm oil, sugar and cassava. This will support our agricultural-processing industries for export to the AEC and globally,” Thanakorn said. 
Shantou’s gross domestic product is currently 150 billion yuan (Bt780 billion), growing by an average of 10 per cent a year. The city has purchasing power to import products and also has the infrastructure to support foreign investment. 
Thanakorn, who is also vice chairman of Chia Tai Group, said his group was already doing business in Shantou in agriculture and livestock. 
“Although Thai investors have been in Shantou and Shantou investors in Thailand for more than 10 years, this MoU that will make such two-way investment easier than before,” he said.