Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak on Friday expressed the government’s support for China as it pursues a leading role in promoting free trade and globalisation amid an escalating tariff war with the United States.
In his keynote speech at the Thailand-China Business Forum in Bangkok, Somkid noted that China’s leadership in promoting globalisation had been challenged, an apparent reference to the ongoing trade dispute between the world’s largest economies.
Somkid foresaw Thailand having a closer relationship with China in trade, investment, education, culture and human-resource development.
He was welcoming a Chinese trade mission of more than 400 investors led by State Councillor Wang Yong. Their focus is on the Eastern Economic Corridor, where they are to visit sites on Saturday.
Chinese businesspeople have in the past two and a half years applied for Board of Investment incentives for planned financing worth Bt56 billion.
Somkid said Thailand welcomed further investment from China and also supported Beijing’s globe-spanning Belt and Road Initiative.
Wang noted that China had become the third largest-source of foreign direct investment in Thailand and that about 10 million Chinese tourists visited the Kingdom each year, with 6 million arriving in the first half of this year alone.
He also invited Thais to invest in China, which is aiming to attract new foreign direct investment worth US$140 billion by the end of this year.
It will host the China International Import Expo in November.