Investors view the Southeast Asian nation as a springboard into the rest of the region, as Wei Tian reports from Bangkok. In the second act of Siam Niramit, a historical cultural performance about ancient Thailand, popular among foreign tourists in Bangkok, a 16th-century Chinese trading boat docks at a port on stage.

Fully loaded with delicate silks, porcelain and other treasures from China, the arriving outsider quickly wins over the hearts and minds of local residents.

Today, the humble trading vessel has been replaced by thousands of planes and cargo ships transporting goods between the two countries worth billions, ensuring ties between the two nations are strong and deep-rooted, both socially and economically.

According to the latest statistics from the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI), for instance, China was the country’s second-largest source of foreign direct investment in 2011.

Chinese companies have applied to take part in more than 180 investment projects in the last five years, worth a total investment of $4.15 billion.

Data from Thailand’s travel bureau show China has become the largest source of visitors to its famous southern seaside resort of Phuket.

via Chinese firms ramp up presence in Thailand|Business|chinadaily.com.cn.

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