Thailand has been stepping up trade cooperation with China by upgrading the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between China and ASEAN, including expanding mini FTAs with Chinese cities and provinces, Deputy Prime Minister Jurin Laksanawisit has said.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit made the announcement at the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday (22 Feb).

Mini FTAs between Thailand and Chinese provinces

Minister Jurin said the two countries enjoy practical cooperation under mechanisms including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and mini FTAs between Thailand and Chinese provinces such as Hainan and Gansu.

He further noted that the Thai side has asked to expand the Thai-Hainan Mini FTA with success seen in negotiations over the sales of goods and joint training sessions for business operators from Thailand and Hainan.

The commerce minister added that this resulted in the bilateral trade value rising by 91.9% in 2022 to 18.2 billion baht (~US$527 million).

China was the largest trading partner of Thailand in 2022

The press conference also announced that the World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC) will kick off in Bangkok on June 24.

China was the largest trading partner of Thailand in 2022, with a bilateral trade value reaching 3.69 trillion baht (~US$107 billions), which accounted for about 18% of Thailand’s total foreign trade volume.

Narongsak Putthapornmongkol, president of the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, said the gathering is expected to help expedite the country’s post-pandemic recovery and promote Thailand among Chinese businesses worldwide.

He added that the WCEC, which will be held on June 24-26 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, where the APEC 2022 was also held, is expected to welcome more than 3,000 attendees.

Registration for the event opens in early March.

Founded in 1991, the WCEC is an important biennial event for Chinese entrepreneurs around the globe. It aims at establishing an economic network linking Chinese entrepreneurs worldwide.

Source : National News Bureau

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