Thai investors hope strong ties between Thailand and China will spur the economic growth of both nations, the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce said yesterday.
ON TRACK: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, right, and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at a high-speed train exhibition yesterday at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.
The two countries will boost their bilateral trade value from US$60 billion a year to $100 billion over the next five years, chamber president Yong Suksudprasert said.
He was speaking yesterday after a meeting with visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Mr Li addressed about 1,000 business figures packed in to the chamber yesterday. Mr Yong said Mr Li likened the long-term relationship between Thailand and China to that of a family.
He said China promised to help purchase more agricultural products from Thailand, such as rice, rubber and cassava.
China also encouraged Thailand to accelerate the implementation of its high-speed train project that would bring about a faster and more convenient means of transportation between the two countries, he said.
With a high-speed rail link, a lot more Chinese tourists would visit Thailand, Mr Yong said.
The network would also connect to the other countries in the region such as Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and Singapore, he said.
The Chinese government would support young Chinese business figures seeking to invest in Thailand, especially in the tourism and agriculture sectors, he said.
In return, the Chinese government was encouraging Thai investors to increase their investment in the hotel and banking sectors in China, Mr Yong said.
Major Chinese property developer King Wai Group, which was visiting Thailand along with the Chinese premier's delegation, expressed its interest in investing in a retail and wholesale trade centre development project in Chachoengsao, chamber vice-president Narongsak Putthapornmongkol said.
King Wai Group had already signed a memorandum of understanding with a Thai company to construct the trade centre on a 1,000-rai plot in the province, he said, adding that the centre was intended to be a goods distribution centre serving Asean.
Earlier in the day, Mr Li jointly presided over an exhibition of Chinese high-speed train technology and development at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.
He moved on to Chiang Mai later in the day.