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China's Trina Solar Opens 200-Million-USD Plant in Thailand

(CRI Online)    18:58, March 29, 2016

  A file photo of solar panels at the Trina Solar plant. [Photo: Xinhua]

Chinese firm Trina Solar has opened a 200-million-US-dollar plant in Thailand. The move is the latest example of the growing trade ties between China and Thailand.

Trina Solar is the world's largest manufacturer of photovoltaic modules. The company's new factory in Thailand's central Rayong province aims to increase its exports to the US, Europe and southeast Asian nations.

At the facility's opening ceremony on Monday, Trina Solar's Chairman and CEO Gao Jifan explained the company's decision to invest in Thailand.

"With the backdrop of the 'Belt and Road' initiative and the internationalization of China's industrial capacity, our strategic move to invest aboard can help us cope with the trade protection measures of the West, as well as gaining bigger local markets in areas that receive our investments. We began comprehensive market research in Southeast Asia two or three years ago, and we decided Thailand was the best market to make our investment."

Gao adds the strong ties between China and Thailand, in addition to Thailand's supportive policies, have facilitated his company's decision to build the plant in the country.

Trina Solar was established in 1997 and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Its new facility in Rayong province will manufacture solar cells and photovoltaic modules.

It will account for 10% of the company's total production capacity and create 12-hundred jobs locally.

In recent years, a fast growing number of Chinese companies have invested in Thailand. 200 such firms have registered with the Chinese Embassy in Thailand.

Zhang Peidong is the commercial counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Thailand. She said on Monday that China and Thailand have enjoyed growing bilateral trade.

"Despite an overall slow world economy, China and Thailand have made significant progress in our trade relations. Last year our total import-export value reached 75.5 billion US dollars. While China's total import-export fell by 10%, the figure between China and Thailand increased 3.9%. Last year, China moved up two spots and became the 4th largest foreign investor in Thailand. These figures all very well demonstrate our trade development. "

Chinese investments in Thailand cover sectors that include industry, manufacturing, new energy, agriculture and tourism.

Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam was also at the opening event on Monday. He said Thailand is keen on attracting more foreign capital, including those from China.

"Our current government is working on three things to facilitate foreign investment in Thailand, and they include tariffs, labor and land. We believe if we can properly address these issues, our commercial and investment environment will be improved. And that will help us attract more foreign investors, including those from China. Thailand offers low labor costs, and we have very positive relations with China. We especially support green and clean industries."

China Minsheng Bank and Thailand's Siam Commercial Bank, or SCB, have provided loans for Trina Solar's facility.

SCB has focused on Chinese and Vietnamese inbound investors in Thailand. The bank says Trina Solar's arrival in Thailand will boost investment confidence in the country.

SCB adds that currently, other major Chinese solar cell producers, along with a number of Chinese companies in renewable energy and infrastructure, have expressed strong interest in building plants in Thailand.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Kong Defang,Bianji)

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