Visitors pass the Thailand booth at the China National Convention Center during the 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services, in Beijing, Sept 2, 2022. Thailand is stepping up its economic cooperation with China by signing a mini-free trade agreement (mini-FTA) with the coastal city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province. (PHOTO / VCG)
BANGKOK — Thailand is stepping up its economic cooperation with China by signing a mini-free trade agreement (mini-FTA) with the coastal city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province.
The mini-FTA signed on Wednesday marked the seventh mini-FTA inked between Thailand and its foreign partners, including China’s Hainan island and Gansu province, Kofu of Japan, Telangana of India, and Busan and Gyeonggi of South Korea.
Several actions will be taken under the agreement, such as boosting information exchange, promoting business linkages, appointing trade representatives and expanding investment opportunities
Several actions will be taken under the agreement, such as boosting information exchange, promoting business linkages, appointing trade representatives and expanding investment opportunities.
“Trade ties between China and Thailand have become closer over the past few years under mechanisms including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and mini-FTAs between Thailand and Chinese provinces such as Hainan and Gansu," said Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, who is also the minister of commerce.
ALSO READ: Wang meets Thai foreign minister to promote ties
"China is an important market for Thailand. It is also an important trading partner”，Jurin said. As fruitful trade success have been achieved, Thailand has set a target for export growth in China this year, including a goal of expanding Thai exports to Shenzhen by 5 percent, he said.
Statistics from the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shenzhen Municipal Committee (CCPIT Shenzhen) shows that total exports from Thailand to China hit 102 billion yuan ($14.82 billion) last year, a year-on-year increase of 18.6 percent.
“Electronic devices and medical appliances from Shenzhen as well as jewelry and agricultural products from Thailand have been welcomed and benefited people from the two countries,” said Gu Dongzhong, director of CCPIT Shenzhen.
READ MORE: China's tourists hit Thai beaches for 1st time after virus curbs ease
He said the mini-FTAs are expected to bring more opportunities to both sides and further deepen the trade ties between Shenzhen and Thailand.
China was the largest trading partner of Thailand in 2022 with bilateral trade value reaching 3.69 trillion baht ($107 billion), which accounted for about 18 percent of Thailand's total foreign trade volume, according to the Thai Ministry of Commerce.