Interview: Thai-Sino economic cooperation promising, says Thai Ambassador to China

08:24, August 19, 2010      

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Thai ambassador to China Piamsak Milintachinda said here Wednesday that the overall picture of Thai-Sino economic cooperation "looks bright."

"Two-way trade has exceeded 30 billion US dollars annually since 2008. China now is Thailand's No.1 export destination and No.2 importer," Milintachinda told Chinese media at the embassy.

For the first half of this year, the bilateral trade volume reached 21.56 billion US dollars, up 53.3 percent from the same period last year.

Milintachinda said the bilateral trade volume was expected to reach 50 billion US dollars in 2010.

Thai-Sino economic cooperation has been stimulated by the Plan of Action for China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership, a five-year plan reached in 2007, covering 15 areas such as trade, education and agriculture, he said.

The two sides were preparing to review the on-going action plan and to see what to do in the next period, he added.

With regard to bilateral investment, Milintachinda said the current situation was good.

Thailand's investment in China in 2008 totaled 49 million US dollars, while China's investment in Thailand reached 100 million in 2009, he said, adding China has invested 1.5 billion yuan in Thailand during the first half of this year.

In the past decade, China has invested a total of 6.5 billion US dollars in Thailand, he said.

According to the ambassador, Thailand and China were discussing a partnership to develop Thailand's first high-speed railway, which was part of the talks between the two countries during Thailand Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban's visit to China from July 16-23.

Thaugsuban has reported to the Thai Cabinet that China will provide investment, technology and management support for the 240-kilometer railway line from Bangkok to the province of Rayong, reported the Thai official MCOT news agency.

Milintachinda said Thailand was interested in China's high-speed railway technology, saying Chinese technology was highly-advanced.

The ambassador said Thailand had moved on since the "Red Shirts" shutdown parts of Bangkok, with the GDP, export and tourism industry growing fast.

The Thai government has launched a stimulus package to restore tourism,he said.

"For example, the visa fee to Thailand has been dropped," he noted, adding the number of tourists from China had bounced back recently.

Source: Xinhua


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