Somkid deepens EEC China push

Economy April 26, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

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DEPUTY Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak is leading a delegation representing the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) on a visit to China that will see the signing of two agreements that will provide a major boost to plans for the Eastern Airport City project in Rayong province.



The team led by Somkid will arrive in Zhengzhou, Henan province, today. The signing of the two memorandums of understanding (MOUs) are seen as a key step in advancing Thailand’s goals to expand its aviation industry. The delegation wraps up the visit on Monday.

Nattporn Jatusripitak, a spokesman for the deputy prime minister in charge of economic affairs, said the team would include Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general to the EEC Office, and top officials of that office.

One of the MOUs will be for cooperation between the EEC Office and an executive committee of the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone (ZAEZ), involving the exchange of information and the planning and management of both countries’ airport cities in promoting aviation-related activities, including tourism, trade and investment. 

The second memorandum will usher in closer cooperation on trade and a deeper economic relationship between the EEC Office and Henan province relating to development of the Aviation Dual Hub Project between central China and Asean.

 This move will enable cooperation in aviation and other supporting industries, like aviation logistics, aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul, and training courses for workers in technology research and development. It will also promote cooperation under China’s Belt and Road Initiative. 

In 2018, trade between Thailand and Henan amounted to US$874 million. Shipments to the Chinese province came to $272 million, led by rubber, electronics components, plastic products, rice and tapioca products. Shipments to Thailand were valued at $602 million, led by mobile phones, textile products, dried mushrooms and chemical products.

Trade between the two is targeted to reach $1.4 billion by 2021. 

 “Both MOUs gained the Cabinet’s approval on April 2, representing an extension of cooperation under an MOU involving Thailand’s EEC development between the EEC Office and China’s Commerce Ministry signed during a meeting of Thailand-China Joint Steering Committee on Trade, Investment and Economic Cooperation in August 2018.”

During the trip to Zhengzhou, Somkid and his team will visit Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport, its ground traffic centre and the provincial capital’s city hall. They will also see the Zhengzhou Linkong Bio-pharmaceutical Park today.

Somkid will then be a witness to MOU signing between the EEC Office and ZAEZ on Saturday.

On Sunday, the Thai delegation will visit Zhengzhou International Hub Development and Construction (ZIH), the Hanan Bonded Logistics Centre, and the Zhongdaman Bonded Commodity 020 Shopping Centre.