Nov 5, 2020 – Jurin Laksanawisit delivered a special speech through teleconference at the opening ceremony of 11th Pan-Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation Forum on October 15, 2020 and stressed to push in-depth cooperation with every province of China.
Auramon said that participants communicated on the development of New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, the connection between land transport corridors and port infrastructure, the development of transportation and related cooperation through various means, and the simplification of customs procedures among member countries.
Thailand’s neighboring countries are more directly linked to the route of the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the Maritime Silk Road (MSR). This opens great opportunities to participate in these developments from Thailand as Southeast Asia’s investment hub.
Photo taken on Nov. 15, 2019 shows a ritual to pay tribute to the Chinese sea goddess Mazu in Bangkok, Thailand. The statue of Chinese sea goddess Mazu arrived in Thailand on Thursday for cultural exchanges. “Mazu plays the role of a cultural bond in connecting the peoples of China and Southeast Asian countries along the ancient Maritime Silk Road,” said Zhou Jinyan, deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Mazu Cultural Exchange Association. Prior to this trip, Mazu visited Singapore and Malaysia in 2017. She also traveled to Manila, the Philippines in 2018. (Xinhua/Wei Peiquan)
Jurin supported China’s interconnectivity strategy under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and urged the use of the connectivity facilities of ports around Beibu Gulf to boost two-way logistics and broaden the export channels of Thai goods to China, Central Asia and even Europe.
Such interconnectivity means great benefit to Thailand’s agricultural products, fruits and related industries, and enables Thailand to better exert the agreement on market opening under the framework of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA).
“Thailand has attended every Pan-Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation Forum Since 2006; the cooperation framework was prepared to turn Beibu Gulf into a center for interconnectivity of infrastructure and public facilities while expanding trade and investment among member countries. The Chinese government has been pushing Guangxi to become China’s gateway to ASEAN and part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and the BRI,” Auramon added.
In 2019, China was Thailand’s largest trading partner, with a total trade volume of 79.5 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 16.46 percent of Thai foreign trade. Thailand’s exports to China totaled 29.2 billion U.S. dollars and imports from China amounted 50.3 billion U.S. dollars.
From January to August 2020, the China-Thailand trade increased 0.26 percent y/y to 51.724 billion U.S. dollars, with 19.625 billion U.S. dollars exports to China and 32.099 billion U.S. dollars imports from China.
Thailand is an important country in the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the Maritime Silk Road (MSR). It is the second-largest economy in ASEAN and the fourth largest trading partner of China in ASEAN countries. It is the logistics, trade and financial center of ASEAN. As the “ASEAN Heart” and “Asian Umbilical Belt”, the economy has been showing rapid development.
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